I met Nancy’s amazing son Mark Kramer, right after I lost my Dad through a mutual friend’s Facebook post. Then I finally got to meet him in real time at the Missoula Marathon, my marathon #14.Mark told me about how he lost his mother to the ugly beast we call Pancreatic Cancer. It was my first introduction to someone else affected by pancreatic cancer, until then I really had no idea what we were dealing with and what lied ahead. As I sit here on the plane to Mississippi to run marathon #42, I listen to Frank Sinatra sing “I Did it My Way” which was the song Mark describes his mother in her eulogy. Funny thing, I always have thought of my Dad when I heard that song. Nancy: She lived a life, that was full. She travelled each and every highway And more, much more than this, She did it her way.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, a devoted wife, mother of 3, a teacher, a woman of the world who loved to travel. (Just to name a few) It sounds like she had the strength that could move mountains and a love that made a house a home and that is what Nancy was all about LOVE. She got it right. Just look at the love she gave to her family and her 6 beautiful grandchildren. So beautiful. Mark describes his mother as super woman and as I read more I would tend to agree. For example as if the above wasn’t enough, Nancy battled breast cancer and while going through treatment, she never missed a day of work. She also entered into a local 5k race and won first in her age group. Wow! When she was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and given a very short time to live she forged on for 3 more years battling it with dignity, bravery and love. Her family was always a priority and she still made time to really LIVE her life, she did it her way while loving everyone up along the way. It doesn’t get much better then that. I could go on and on about this amazing woman, but then I would miss my marathon. Seriously, this post does not do her justice. However, over the next several hours I will remember and honor a woman after my own heart. She raised a beautiful family, lived her life to the fullest! She faced it all and she stood all and did it her way! Sending love to you Mark and your beautiful family. May your mother’s beautiful spirit of love continue to shine on you all the days of your life. What a blessing she is and always will be. Thank you for letting me honor her in this way and I am going to love it up for the next 26.2 miles in honor of your mother. We got this! xo Julie