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The Most Important Mile of My Life: Ellen Casey

After 9.2013
Ellen, after completing her first 10K at Zooma Cape Cod.

Friday, September 13, 2013 was Week 8 of the TLAM 10K Finish It plan. I was looking forward to spending the weekend with my daughter at Zooma Cape Cod in two weeks for my first ever 6.2 mile run. I wore my running clothes to bed so I would “Don’t think, just go” when my alarm went off early the next morning for my last long run.

The phone rang at 12:30 a.m. “Is this Mike’s mom?" "I am calling from Yale New Haven Hospital…”  “No one has told you what happened?” “We have Mike here ... He has been in an accident ... He was ejected from the vehicle ... He has some injuries ..."

Mike is 18 and the youngest of our four kids. We made our way to the hospital and were kept in the waiting room until he was stabilized. Is this finally the test I have avoided all these years?

The night was long; Mike had a large hematoma on his head, a seizure and large blood loss. Miraculously, a concussion was the worst of his injuries. He was very lucky. He was admitted to the hospital. It was the first time I spent the night in the hospital watching over my child.

When he was discharged on Sunday, I was wearing the same running outfit I wore to bed on Friday night. I got him home and settled in, and then I took off to get in my run.

The most important mile of my life was down Blue Hills Road, past an apple orchard to the corner where my son was ejected from a truck driven by a reckless teenager and survived.

That mile was the most important mile of my life as I ran and sobbed toward the place in the road where there could have had a very different outcome. I cannot count the number of times we were told in the hospital how lucky Mike was. The doctors and nurses know this first-hand. That mile was one of the most emotional of my life as I returned home knowing I am stronger than I thought, and how deeply grateful I am for my husband and my four healthy, strong, and happy children.

The corner where Mike was in an accident--and lived.
The corner where Mike was in an accident--and lived.

What was (or will be) the most important mile of your life? We want to know.

We’re going to make this an ongoing feature on the website (and potentially include some important miles in our yet-to-be-named third book, out in spring of 2015). Best way to submit is to email us your story with a picture: runmother {at} gmail {dot} com with “Most Important Mile” in the subject line. Please try to keep your mile stories under 300 words. Thank you!

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