We knew her dedication and commitment to long-distance running.
It was many years later she realized her dream of running for Canada at the Olympics ... was it 1992 in Barcelona?
I never had such fantastic dreams for my athletics. Maybe I'd set the bar as high as playing softball for Kell's Angels but it never came to fruition.
Instead, I reached for my writing ... turned it into a career of writing about sports.
At which point, I took a new perspective on the Olympics, wondering what it would be like to be there.
Wondering what it would be like to file my stories on the fly, be surrounded by the best of my profession and bask in the glory of the Olympic Games.
Never mind Winter or Summer, I just wanted to be there.
I thought I was close.
When I covered the World Figure Skating Championships for the Calgary Sun in 2006, I thought I was never closer.
A colleague with whom I spent a great deal of time that week said he could see me representing the chain at the Olympics.
'Ya got good stuff, kid,' he said.
My eyes were as wide and as bright as that day so many years ago when a figure skating coach said to my mother 'she could be a great ice dancer with those edges.'
A couple of months later, my dream - my entire world - crashed and burned. I got handed my layoff slip, my walking papers, my 'don't let the door hit your ass' pass.
Beijing came and went without a second thought.
Now here I sit, the Vancouver Winter Games are opening ... my first Olympics not watching every other second at the office, writing columns for my weekly or tri-weekly or cleaning up someone else's copy at a daily.
The tears stream down my face through these ceremonies, bursting with pride as a Canadian, because it was a damn emotional opener.
And as I see my friend Tracy post on Twitter that her last life goal is to work an Olympics, I remember it was mine, too.
I've never been one to wonder 'what if,' because it indicates regret and an inability to learn from one's mistakes and strengthen one's resolve.
But there it is ...
And it hurts.
God, how it hurts.