Ya-Ya, short and feisty

ya ya 2 run feb 3My first ‘official’ run back in Colorado. I ran for Ya-Ya, my dear friend Ginger’s very feisty grandmother, that passed away this last week. I have many fond memories of her, a lot of funny ones too, Ginger I know you’re smiling right now while you read this because, Ya-Ya, well she was funny and we have some good stories to share.

It was a bit too cold for me this morning. Frozen waters, crackling ice (a bit eery I might add), a little windy, and the sun was doing it’s best to make an appearance, but not good enough for this chilly chick. Luckily I had thoughts of Ya-Ya to keep me warm and preoccupied. I was definitely missing my early morning runs in Florida, palm lined streets with a touch of humidity. McGregor run Jan 2013Thinking of Florida makes me think of Ginger, which brings me back to Ya-Ya.

My run was short and feisty, which was perfect because so was Ya-Ya. After about a mile and a half my knee started acting up so I ended up with a short 3 mile adventure this morning.

I thought about what Ya-Ya would have said to me  about running for her this morning. I can see her looking up at me, head tilted to the side, wide eyed, with her faded Greek accent,  “What, what are you talking about? What do you mean you are running for me? Why are you running?” and she would quickly fade off into another conversation, talking mostly with her hands, yelling for Ginger. I know Ginger and I would be looking at each other and laughing. That’s what you did when Ya-Ya was around, laugh and say “That’s Ya-Ya“.

Today was a cold one, too cold for this girl, surely years of Wisconsin weather would sustain me through these mild temps of 30 degrees. It’s a badge of honor I wear with pride, Wisconsin winter tough. Sadly I think the badge was taken away from me as I crossed the border.

My teeth were still chattering and I could not get warm.ya ya 3 feb 3 Sun or no sun, I couldn’t get my body to relax and ignore the cold. Oddly enough, the photo to the left looks a heck of a lot sunnier than it actually was, maybe it was all in my head, maybe it was that sunny.

As I finished the run I thought about how great it would be to hang out with Ginger today, drinking coffee, watching a chick-flick and laughing about all of our Ya-Ya stories. I have no doubt that Ya-Ya is up there getting things in order, batting her eyelashes, innocently probing, “Who me?“.

I only wish I had seen her one more time before leaving Wisconsin, but I am grateful to have had all of the time I did with her, even more so, I am grateful that Ginger had this time with her. Ginger, so caring and loving, was Ya-Ya’s pride and joy, this I know for certain. I also know that Ya-Ya is up there yelling down at her as if Ginger can hear her, and in her own way Ginger will hear her, because she will always be with her.

Wherever you are today, I hope you are warm and comforted by thoughts of your own Grandma. I hope you have time to hug your Nana, Nona, Ya-Ya, Grandma, Gram…whatever term of endearment you have for her, I hope you can send her some love today.


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Rachel Eagleton


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