‘She’s a Bad Mama Jamma’

Timehop, a Smartphone app that brings up your past year’s memories from social media, has a way of marking time in a specific way that memories alone can’t always achieve.

This morning my Timehop showed me photos from last year’s Two Cities Marathon, which I walked with a friend and our daughters. But at the same time we were walking 13.1 miles, another friend was fighting for her life, after her heart stopped.

I wouldn’t necessarily have connected the two events in my mind. But months later, when her husband talked about what happened that morning in a Fresno Bee article, he described how the paramedics had to maneuver through the many road detours that the marathon creates.

I texted her this morning:

“I was thinking of you – photos from last year’s marathon came up in my memories. That was today, wasn’t it? I’m so thankful you are still here.”

“Thank you. Yes, today’s the day! My deathaversary, as my son calls it.”

How frightening to have such a day to joke about.

There are a group of six of us who get together about four times a year. We are women of a certain age – not such spring chickens anymore, but certainly not past our primes either. Yet in the past year and a half, at least four of us have had situations that reminded us of how fragile our time on this earth is.

This year’s Two Cities Marathon and Half is Sunday. I’m doing the Half Relay. I asked Traci some of her favorite songs – her life anthems. She rattled off a few: “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor; “I’m Alive” by Michael Franti; “She’s a Bad Mama Jamma” by Carl Carlton; and “Don’t Bring Me Down” by Electric Light Orchestra. I sense a theme here.

Traci’s anthems will go with me on my run Sunday morning, weaving through the streets of northeast Fresno, not so far from where she still recovers, celebrating her “deathaversary.” When her songs come on my playlist, I will push myself a little harder, thankful for her friendship, thankful for my health at this moment. Nothing else is promised.

We are alive.

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