BLOG: Marching forward in memory of a mom

BLOG: Marching forward in memory of a mom

jessica 1

8.14.13 In the weeks leading up to the HOM Silent No More Walk/Run, we’ll be highlighting some teams and individuals who will be joining us on race day. We’re kicking off this series with a post from Jessica Holzemer (second from left), who walks in honor of her mother and as a way to take steps towards healing her heart.

It was a weeknight in 2010, like any other.  My fiancé Jason and I met my parents for a dinner out. I recall my mom, Nancy, calling me at work earlier in the day to ask if we could meet for dinner that evening. The concern in her voice was apparent; however, Jason and I were completely blindsided at what we eventually found out. The word “cancer” came out of my mom’s mouth almost immediately upon being seated. The words “ovarian cancer” followed and to my dismay, I had a minimal understanding of ovarian cancer.

For the next 10 months, I became all too familiar with ovarian cancer, chemotherapy and, unfortunately, hospice care. My mom passed away on September 12, 2011. My dad, Julian, passed away from a broken heart six months after my mom.

The world as I knew it turned upside down and inside out. Up until my mom’s diagnosis, I thought my family and I were invincible to such pain. My mom said it perfectly in her retirement speech; “…sometimes bad things happen to good people, and there’s nothing you can do about it except to put your hat on straight and march forward.”

While there will always be a looming sadness over the absence of my parents, I am determined to continue my journey with my hat on straight, marching forward. Being a part of the HOM Silent No More Walk/Run is a part of my journey and helps me move forward and brings meaning out of my loss.

The Walk/Run gives me the opportunity to wholeheartedly honor my mom, my dad, Jason (now my husband), and myself through our team, dubbed “Team Julancy” after my parents. The four of us were affected by ovarian cancer even though only one of us was physically affected. So many families are impacted by this disease.

The event promotes an environment to embrace all who have been affected by ovarian cancer. I use my time spent at the event to reminisce about my mom and share funny, love-filled stories with my family and friends. The event is a very positive, healthy way for me to remember my mom and make a difference against the disease.

Whether you’re running or walking in memory or in honor of a loved one, I hope you register, invite your friends and family, form a team, and join us on that very special day.