Once upon a time I ran my first marathon. Most of you know that.

Once upon a time my Mom died. Most of you know that too.

Once upon a time I ran my first marathon, my Mom died three months before, and I met an human angel.

Most of you don’t know that.

This human angel’s flesh name is Charlotte.

See my sweet sweet mother moved from our suburbia Sacramento, CA home to what looked like a resort in Phoenix, AZ my sophomore year of college. I missed my Cali memories, but the Arizona “resort-home” was beyond RAD!

She loved her new oasis and since she had many connections through her job at USAA my Mom was crazy happy.

So although Arizona wasn’t technically “home,” since she was and always will be my only memory of “home” I grew to cherish the golden memories we were creating there.

So I went “home” most holidays and special occasions after my sophomore year of college and was a proud recipient of my mother’s adventurous Fa Fa fun.

P.S. Fa Fa was my Mom and I’s code word for bougie. Don’t Google this – it’s not a real word. See, here’s the deal – I wasn’t born Fa Fa, but because my Mom undoubtedly loved the finer things in life I try and bring more Fa Fa fun into my otherwise frugal life. Totally still working on this…

I miss our Fa Fa fun simply because far beyond material things and silly code words we existed in a beautiful space where our differences didn’t matter. Many folks call this space unconditional love.


The memories were priceless and trip after trip Arizona truly became home.

However after cancer unexpectedly interrupted my mothers life in 2008 and ultimately took it in 2013 I left our new hangout thinking, “Will I ever grow to love AZ again?”

And after not even 6 months I realized that the answer was yes.

See, my Mom’s neighbor (P.S.S. another human angel) Debbie was also USAA bred.

P.S.S.S. USAA employees are very similar to modern day gangs. Read – they roll hard.

Just a quick fun fact in case you’re looking to work for a rockstar company.

Back to the point – Debbie (outside of her USAA gang affiliation) also owned vending machines with her husband Ed (P.S.S.S.S. You actually should Google this….totally lucrative semi untapped market).

Another fun fact in case you’re looking for a rockstar side hustle.

Anyways – one magical day as her and her super lovely husband were refilling their machine at a local Phoenix elementary school they met another fellow human angel (scroll up – this is human angel Charlotte).

So they chatted and filled token inspired goodies with this conversation playing in the background:

You’re a runner? (Debbie)

Yes, I run marathons and half marathons! (Charlotte)

Oh my, my best friend just passed and her daughter is running the NYC Marathon for the first time in November. (Debbie)

Oh wow! Me too. (Charlotte)

You should connect with her. Here is her info. (Debbie)

Okay, I will! (Charlotte)

And she did.

That simple – angels collided and miracles instantly happened.

Charlotte and I quickly connected and in the midst of our NYC Marathon jitters we realized we had way more in common than running.

The strongest commonality being – we both had unexpectedly lost our Moms.

The second strongest commonality being – if it wasn’t for the power of clocking miles, sadness would’ve definitely consumed us.

This discovery meant so much.

To meet someone else who also sweated their way through grief made me feel like I wasn’t alone, and most importantly – that I could and would survive this.

So on November 3, 2013 we ran the world’s greatest city with the world’s greatest cheerleaders smiling down on us from above.

Angel Sisters – that’s what I imagined our Moms were on that day.

So after several days of celebration I hugged my new “Marathon Sister” full of gratitude and awe of how God could take my sweet sweet Mom, make her an angel and send an human angel to remind me that “running toward my destiny” was both possible and necessary.

I have 26.2 forever in my heart and exactly one year later my Marathon Sister Charlotte came to visit me in New York for an anniversary trip.

We ate, drank, laughed, reminisced about our Angel Sister Moms, and ran (a little) for 5 whole days.

It was truly RAD and I am still so grateful.

Charlotte’s mere presence these past 365+ days is evidence that when God calls His angels home, He always sends us human angels to get us through.

May this story inspire you to keep on keeping on. The angels we lose on earth can and will show back up – so expect great things RADicals, no matter what your circumstances may currently be.


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