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Completion of Humanness

Completion of Humanness As we arrive to the completion of the first year without Norman, I had decided long before he'd passed that I would continue to do things certain things he liked yet could no longer do. I decided I would not take a day off of fitness.  I would run at least for 500 days in a row. I began that in early 2020.  I'd not be concerned with the distance I'd run. It was the very thing I convinced Norman and the thing that mattered to him, from the very first discussion we had August 11th, 1981, was fitness. I loved that he was a College Boy. He loved that I was a Marine. We tickled each other's soul with such admirations. Later fitness continued as an old discussion from 1994 ...getting outside and to run no matter what. I would say to him, "Run 200 meters, then 400 meters. If it doesn't feel good, stop. Turn around and walk back home and know you did your best. That is all you can ask of yourself." I said this,  knowing he would get dow
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Reflection of Progression

 As I sit here and contemplate how others in my life attempted to stop my progression because of my gender. And think ... Right now my Dad would be thinking I'm a soft parent. He would put me down, for helping my oldest financially for her college education, allowing her to not make her bed, accepting her getting her hair and nails done. He wouldn't accept her excuse of working three jobs, working  over fifty hour work weeks, and my feeding her, taking care of her dirty laundry, staying up for her, holding dinner up for her... However, my Mother who didn't stand in my way as she knew I would be a US Marine... Which I know must have freaked out my anti-gun, anti-violence, Albert Schweizer loving Mother. Who wouldn't step on a bug, EVER. She would back me with these decisions. For she would see it as trust, hope, forward progression of a forward thinking woman. And my handing off the torch of the future to my daughters. Godspeed.---Jody-Lynn  Reicher  

In For the Long Hall

  Tomorrow marks forty-five years I've been running long distance. I ran when the medical field  tried to stop me...  they told me what was going to fail.. how I would die... how I would be undesirable to a man... how my knees would fail me by age thirty... my heart would fail me by age twenty-three... how I'd suffer great medical issues... My relatives, with the exception of my Mother told me running long distance would ruin my life... NO, it ruined their opinion... They lost. The medical field misdiagnosed me over thirty times... I had people criticize me even to this day for my running at odd hours, so I could work full time, yet be there for my husband and our daughters, still cook meals, work and clean our home, and care for our children.  I gave up the frills of sleeping in, gladly. I gave up coffee clutches, gossip, hair appointments, fancy clothing, etc... In the end I saved us money... four years ago my husband remarked, "I'm so glad you invested in fitness an

Who Cares...

  Who Cares… In the early spring of 1975 my Dad started wearing a pin on his outside jacket. The pin read in black letters with a white background, “Who Cares…” The only thing I could conger up in my almost teenaged mind was either, he wondered if anyone cared. Or perhaps, he no longer wanted to listen to other people’s stories. Or he had given up and didn’t care anymore. I was baffled. Oddly enough, I never asked him. I know he wanted me to ask. But I acted as though the pin was not there. And every day was like any other day. I kept my mouth shut around him most of the time. I never talked back to any adult. I was cautious around my brother, as I feared offending anyone. Why? I wanted peace. And at the end of the day, I felt I wouldn’t matter until I became an adult and or paid some big bills for other people. I lacked self-importance. That’s just how it went. I didn’t know any better, so it was easy to accept those circumstances. As to my attitude during my childhood and now r

The Girl Matters

  This piece is dedicated to Todd Griffith, Allendale Police Chief  The Girl Matters  As I reflect on my earnestness to make certain my daughters know they matter.  To know they deserve proper congratulatory responses. Not because they're my daughters, but because they are equal. As I now digress. Let me bring you back to over four decades ago. It was my graduation day, and just two years prior was my brother's.  At my brother's graduation, it was all about my brother and his peers. Like it should be. Two years later, it was about the put down of women/girls. It was about people trying to save face in my family.  It was about a white man's pride.  So, here we were all those decades ago. I knew things, witnessed things that most will not even gather a wisp of.  Nor should they. Much I haven't expressed but to a select few of horrors done to girls I've known, some I've witnessed. And with every passing year, I knew of more... More inequality that existed.

Nearly Twenty Years… Have Passed

  Nearly Twenty Years… Have Passed I went down there twelve days later. To New York City that is. I’m not a city girl. In fact, I knew nothing about New York City, that just lay within forty minutes of my home in New Jersey.   Yet, my heart was ripping, I had been a Marine many years before. I’m used to helping people. That at the time up until earlier of 2021, was part of my business/job. So, I knew I could somehow help. I felt guilty that I was living, and people were dying. And we were suddenly at war, as my husband and I were ready to adopt our first child. I prayed to receive the call after trying to connect to volunteering at ground zero. The call came from a fellow therapist, out of the blue. I was game. I told my husband at the time, an inner-city high school math teacher in New Jersey that I needed to volunteer on the weekends at the World Trade Center sites. He understood. He knew how I felt. He thought I’d re-up. But I knew I was dedicated to him as well to have a fami

Angels on Their Shoulders

Angels on Their Shoulders   This past Sunday I was on the phone in the early morning hours. My two daughters were still fast asleep, I was in the process of just waking up when a friend called me. I knew, I had to pick the phone up. We’d been playing phone tag for weeks on end. He in Florida, me in New Jersey. And when we get on the phone, it’s never for a few minutes, more like a few hours. No kidding. So, I knew to pick the phone up.   He always has words of wisdom.   The way I know this about the man, who has been not just a friend since 1998, yet also my ultra-running coach from 2001-2008, as well. The man who had me run fifty miles with him, twenty-five miles with him in the sand of the pine barrens of New Jersey on Saturdays and some Sunday mornings, early. We’d ran as much as fifty-seven miles together over an eight-hour period. We shared water bottles, food. I’d turn the other way or taxi down the road on foot when he needed to, ehhhh hmmmm.   And I worried when as he, my