Mountains and Marathons….

Toms Mountain

There are certain days throughout each year that are noted, observed and joyfully celebrated.

My first child, Joseph Brett Warren, greeted the world on July 9, 1988, and though he’s been gone from this earth five years now, we (along with so many others) still celebrate “Brett Day” on his birthday and hopefully always will! We remember the gift of his amazing, loving heart even as we continue to miss him so dearly.

July 9th is a good day – the day the world gained a Brett!

July 15th, the day the world said goodbye to him is not…yet, here it is once again and all the many excellent coping skills I’ve learned along this path of grief barely make a scratch on this day.

It’s hard to reframe the worst day of our lives to be anything else but just that, but today I’m not content to hold my breath for these 24 hours until the calendar mercifully turns to the 16th. Today – 5 years after what our family literally does refer to as “the Worst Day”, is going to be different.

I’ve chosen today to share a thing….a really, really big thing! I’m going to explain how this coming November 3rd has everything to do with July 15th….

On Sunday, November 3rd I’ll be joining over 50,000 others to do what will undoubtedly be the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done – I will be walking in the New York City Marathon.


It’s outragious.

It’s absurd.

I’m not prepared.

I’m not an athlete.

I don’t belong there.

But I’m going anyway. Here’s why….

Brett was granted a spot in the NYC Marathon for November of 2014, but he didn’t get the chance to complete that race.

He would have been amazing.

It would have made sense for him.

Brett would have been prepared.

Brett was an athlete.

Brett would have belonged there.

I’m SO not any of those things. But I AM Brett’s mom. And for some reason I may never understand I am compelled to finish this race for my son. ❤

For five years we have had to greet each day without the 4th Warren. It’s been its own marathon that seems to never end and a mountain far too steep to climb. And yet, with God’s strength and grace we somehow are, inch by inch, prayer by prayer and step by step.

This is a hard thing, ya’ll. But I am certain of it, and if I have learned anything along this journey through grief and loss it’s that God continues to do the impossible when I open my heart to the things He is speaking to me and just try….

Life is hard. So many of you have shared your own stories of grief, sorrow, healing and living through it all, and I will carry them with me as we face this challenge together.

With great love,



About Shellie Warren

Welcome ~ I am a mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a dreamer and a writer. But most of all I am a woman of faith - I have a deep longing to know and love....God.
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8 Responses to Mountains and Marathons….

  1. Juanell Lyons says:

    I am so sorry for your sad days, I wish there were something that I could say to help. I pray for the happy moments to creep into your mind and comfort you. 😢 A warm hug for you my friend 🤗😘


  2. Kate Landberg says:

    Love you Shellie – and all 4 Warrens. My heart is so glad that you’re doing this.


  3. Anonymous says:

    So fitting and yes it is so you whether you think so or not. Blessings for this journey and God’s peace that He gives to us who love Him.


  4. Donna Di Cesare says:

    You are my hero! ❤️


  5. Cindy Sappington says:

    Shellie, this inspires me so! Please know you will be in my thoughts and prayers that day.

    Navy Mom Hugs all the way!


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