Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Speaking of hearts

Meet Anna (Barnett) Newby (1921-1983)

Anna Barnett was raised in East Bernstedt, Kentucky and moved to Hamilton, Ohio in her twenties with her sister Louise. She worked at the American Laundry company washing linens and also at the Estate Stove Company, which produced shell and cartridge containers, anti-tank mines and parts for tanks and airplanes during World War II. She married Robert Newby 1945.

Ronnie was born in 1952, followed soon by Kathy and Cindy. While raising her three children, Anna washed and mended laundry at her home. In her free time, she enjoyed crocheting afghans watching her soaps (Guiding Light and As The World Turns). She also loved going for rides but she never got her driver's license.

Later in life, as a grandmother to five kids, Anna got her ears pierced. She also discovered and enjoyed watching a little MTV.

I wish I could share more about my Grandma Newby, but she passed away when I was only two years old. I understand we spent quite a bit of time together while my mom worked. She even potty trained me, and for that I am grateful. I can tell by the way my mom speaks of her that I would have missed her, too.

For two weeks leading up to her death, Anna suffered from classic signs of a heart attack, including difficulty breathing and chest discomfort, which also resulted in trouble sleeping. The doctors said the scar tissue on her heart indicated she had suffered several mild heart attacks.

These days many of us realize that a heart attack is not always a dramatic "movie" heart attack. But we also take for granted the role that genetics and lifestyle play in our heart health.

Next month, I'm running the Cincinnati Heart Mini Marathon (15k) to raise money for the American Heart Association. I would be honored to have your donation to promote healthier lifestyles and support research. You can also click here to learn more about heart disease.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Change of course

Sometimes, no matter how much we plan and prepare, life happens.

Monday was beautiful. I rushed home from work and into my running shoes, anxious for a few miles of crisp, evening air. Before heading out, I popped a frozen lasagna in the oven and then hesitated at the door when I realized I didn't have a pocket for my house key. I was in a hurry, and decided I'd just use the spare at my parents' house, since I would be there anyway to pick up my son.

Things don't always go as planned.

My run was quick and refreshing. I arrived at my parents' just in time so they could head out for their evening plans. Just one small problem (literally). My parents couldn't find the spare key!

Immediately, I began berating myself for turning the oven on and knowingly leaving the house without my own key. Not only did I ruin my parents' plans for the evening, I've potentially burned down a 150 year old house.

My parents, for their part, could not be any cooler about it. Just like they are about every stupid decision I make. They adjusted their plans, and searched high and low and until the spare key was found.

I've learned, especially in the past few years, to accept that things don't always go according to plan. Sometimes, we make bad decisions. Sometimes, no matter how much we plan and prepare, life happens.

And by the way, the lasagna turned out just fine.