Moments to Remember

Moments to remember:

  • Waking up so early that it feels like I’m the only person left in the world; feeling so close to myself that I can hear the beating of my own heart
  • Meeting new people who’s lives have been touched by a terrible disease. People that are so compelled to do something about it that they got up early to be part of the Ride to Conquer Cancer. People that share stories with strangers about someone they love (or even their own) and their battle with cancer.
  • Tears streaming down faces and no one caring who sees them. In remembrance, in anger, in joy, in determination to make a difference
  • Seeing the joy on faces as they make it to camp after that first day; tears and dusty smiles as they practically collapse off their bikes. Being a part of their moment; lending a hand where I can
  • Tasting a cold beer after a long dusty day, laughing and talking like old friends with people I barely know yet are now kindred spirits
  • Feeling a soft bed, even there in a tent on the ground, feels so good after such a day
  • Standing in the mud and rain, ignoring the cold in my hands as I clap them and cheer each and every rider, encouraging them by name to go out there and push through. Strangers become instant friends in the united fight
  • My ball cap dripping rain off the brim, steam rising from the top of my head as I try to dry off a little; feeling guilty because I know they are out there riding in this.
  • I think of those that fight the battle. I hear the reasons why people are here at the Ride to Conquer Cancer. I cry with them, I laugh with them. I am surprised again how much we are all the same.
  • Seeing my dear friend at the finish line, knowing how much her body must hurt, how she climbed those hills pushing through that driving rain. I know how hard it must have been and I know how determined she is. Every ribbon and every name on her shirt a reason for her to refuse to get off that bike.
  • Being so humbled to know amazing people like her. People that have their own battles to fight, yet still they find the strength to do something.
  • I wonder about all the times that I’ve whined and complained. Times when I did not take action. It makes me understand that the only way things (especially ME) can change is by doing something. ANYTHING. Something.
  • Then, when I came home and heard the words, “I missed you so much Mom” and the lump was there again in my throat as I realized that I don’t want them to ever have to hear the awful words “You have cancer” – that’s why I do these things. That’s why everyone was there. For their children and their children’s children
  • And I curl up with that long-legged tween and tousle that goofy boy’s hair; praying that these moments never end. Praying that I will have the strength to DO something. ANYTHING. Each and every day

A Loss For Words

The pages were there; waiting, following along on the journey. They were there, empty, silent. Words waited, quietly watching. Listening to the sound of the wheels turning on black pavement. Lines gently bubbling to the surface, falling back. Searching, longing for the right ones to come.

The empty saddle of the bike that started it all; a symbol of why we were united there in the bright sunlight. So many, too many, touched by a loss that refused to be forgotten. Words of remembrance, names carried on ribbons pinned on my back. Just letters and fabric, but so deep within my heart that I would not; could not stop; even as my body begged to.

Even the lyrics of songs eluded me, so rare for me. My mind was still as the miles stretched before me. Solemnly observing the meaning of the journey. Words would not come; no quiet whispers from blank pages, no longing to steal away to write. Too caught up in the rolling hills and distant mountains. The constant ebb and flow of riders passing and being passed. Awestruck by the significance of the here and now of it all. No lines drawn, no differences, no genders, no race. United in a spirit of shared purpose.

Now the words gently tug at my hand; keep me from sleep. My body is so tired, yet my mind is awake; tapping at the door, urging me to come out and play.

The words are jumbled; a puzzle to unearth. How to put in words feelings and thoughts of such a journey? They seem so small and insignificant in comparison. Yet, the longing is there. Longing to share even just a little piece of how your words were there with me instead. Pieces of memories, pieces of my life touched by so many. I carried you. I carried your stories, your well-wishes, your hopes, your spirit. It was your words that pushed me up those hills. That whispered so quietly I could not hear; but you urged me forward. Spinning, remembering, believing in the impossible.

My words waited and watched; knowing they were not needed there to comfort me. I was in the company of old friends.

Why I Will Ride Next Weekend

Lori and I are riding next weekend in The Ride to Conquer Cancer.

I’ve been thinking a lot of the people I ride for:

  1. My Dad – still cancer free after a diagnosis 20 years ago – I pray he will stay that way.
  2. Young moms like Anita Wright, taken too soon.
  3. Connie Hubley – still fighting hard, still smiling when she comes and visits me here at the College. She misses us, and we miss her.
  4. My cousin, Bradley, who never got to be a teenager, but was so excited to have held my baby boy who is now a teenager himself.
  5. Danny – a boy I grew up with that had Leukemia who fought long enough to marry his true love; and passed away quietly in her arms.
  6. My daughter’s little friend’s young mom who is still fighting breast cancer after being diagnosed only months after her 3rd child was born.
  7. Friends here at the College, fighting every day. The pain in my legs when I ride is nothing compared to theirs.
  8. My mother and grandmother – may they never have to go through what so many other mothers and grandmothers do.
  9. My children so that one day they will live in a cancer-free world.
  10. Too many others to list, I think of them all. There are far too many. The statistic I heard the other day, “1 in 2 people will hear the words: You have cancer” That has to change. And I intend to help make that change.

We are still gathering donations to take with us. You can click the link above and donate or let me know and I will take your donation or put it in online for you.

We have ribbons that we would like to offer each donor so that you can put a name on and we will wear them and carry them with us on our 200 KM ride next weekend.

We will ride for them and for you too.