Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer 2010

I just reviewed my calendar for the 2010 summer season and have decided I must still be suffering from chemo brain. At least that is my story and I am sticking to it otherwise my husband might have me committed on grounds of total insanity.

I have four, yes four, triathlons from 6/19 - 8/29. I'll cap off the summer with a 200 mile relay in the mountains of New Hampshire. Throw in a few running races, an international rowing competition along with the fact that we are currently living through a kitchen renovation and just to change things up a bit I am starting a new position at a new location with my current employer next week and oh yeah, did I mention I am having some of my body parts removed in late June? Whew! I might have to commit myself!

The past few weeks have been a series of ups and downs. Greg and I still miss Tacoma daily. We have both been looking at (cough, cough) puppies online... not to bring one home right now given the schedule we have before us, but perhaps one day again we will have someone waiting for us when we walk in the door each evening.

Crazy life changing health events have recently impacted the lives of folks I know and everyday I send positive thoughts and prayers their way. London was a blast - how fun to see the city through the eyes of my niece and nephews. My cousin Michael graduated from BU while we were away. I consider this incredibly bizarre given the fact he was born during my senior year there. Wasn't that like just yesterday?

Speaking of BU I recently reconnected with friends I had not seen since our days of walking along Commonwealth Avenue which has been nothing but fun. Catching up, reminiscing - it is all good.

One last high note pertains to the logo you see displayed above. You may wonder why I would display the Snickers Marathon Bar logo so prominent on my blog. I do so because I just found out I have been accepted as a member of the 2010 Team Marathon; I'll be wearing their gear at my future events as well as promoting their product. The crunchy honey and almond bar is my current fave!

Happy Memorial Day all! I'll see you between swims/runs/cycles!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tacoma 10/31/95 - 5/7/10

When you are sorrowful look into your heart and you shall see that you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~ Khalil Gibran

It has been a rough three days. Our beautiful Malamute Tacoma has been freed from suffering but ours started when hers ended. Thankfully we have incredible friends and family, many who know how hard it is to let go of a beloved pet.

Our wonderful neighbors hosted a Friday evening get together where we toasted Tacoma's life with Dom Perignon and regaled each other with humorous stories which is exactly what our aching hearts needed.

Saturday as I lay on the couch with puffy eyes watching the 2009 Ironman in Kona and the stories of so many who overcame so much to get there, I realized I should get outside and enjoy the blustery day. I decided to take a walk and lost in my thoughts, I was outside for 2 1/2 hours. I spent the evening watching DVDs of films I figured Greg did not want to see (he had joined friends for dinner) and retired early.

We celebrated Mother's Day yesterday with our moms after I had completed a 10 1/2 mile run with my brother. (Nothing to snap you out of grief like a jaunt around the hills of Kinnelon!) Upon my return from my run I found Greg looking sad and he admitted it was "hard to be home alone". I then told him, although I had thought better of it, that twice Saturday evening while watching my movies I could have sworn I heard Tacoma, her nails clicking on our pine plank floors - so much so that I even got up to look for her. He admitted the same thing, thinking he heard her soft whine (which is what she did when she wanted attention). We noted however that we were able to have this conversation without tears, a big step forward in our healing process.

With Monday now arrived we start a new week and hope with each passing day the sorrow surrounding us will dissipate a bit more. We have much to look forward to this summer. One day at a time...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Giving and Taking

I was lucky enough to get some new wheels this week - my first road bike. It is a black and white Specialized Secteur, the very model as seen in the photo here, and I have a newfound respect for carbon fiber. Greg and I spent the first half of our Saturday cycling through the rolling hills of Morris County as we participated in the Brake the Hunger Cycle Tour. The day itself was spectacular; sunny with clear blue skies and summer like temperatures. We started out early so the roads were quiet. As we pedaled along and I became accustomed to the awesome power of gear: "Hey, I just actually pedaled all the way UP that hill!", I was able to drink in the beauty around me. As we rode past spring flowers full of fragrance, past the local alpaca farm where the newborn alpacas were being shorn, and under trees now offering the shade of mature leaves, I admit I actually giggled.

It was the feeling of flying, of feeling like I was ten again and on my first ten speed. (I loved that bike - it was white with varying gradients of orange stripes. I thought it, and of course I, was the coolest thing ever.) It was pedaling for twenty miles with the knowledge we were only 1/2 way through the ride, but looking forward to the next twenty. It was surviving my first flat tire while climbing a hill and knowing how to change it. It was the fact that I was sharing the experience with my husband, enjoying a day that was pretty much perfect, and helping others at the same time - it just does not get better than that.

Today we will walk for others. We will be attending the American Heart Association Heart Walk in Harriman State Park. My paternal grandfather suffered a fatal heart attack at age 63. I walk in his memory. My dad celebrated his 63rd birthday this year so I have been thinking about my grandfather a lot lately. My grandfather taught me to appreciate the quiet beauty of Cape Cod in the winter and the joy of running along the sand of Coast Guard beach. He also taught me the importance of sharing a kind word with everyone, no matter if they reciprocate or not. So today we walk - for him and for the countless others who cannot.

So that makes up the "giving" part of our weekend. How about the taking? In the balance of give/take, what we face this evening tips the scales horribly out of whack. A friend from high school I was able to reconnect with via modern day social networking (aka Facebook) suffered a loss so awful it pains me to even write about it. Tonight we will honor the life of her heroic son who served his country overseas only to lose his life in a tragic accident here on his home soil. Upon learning of this event I again had to take pause and ponder the big plan. It made my head and my heart hurt.

Once again I remind myself that the hurdles I may have climb over, tunnel under, or walk around are only that - hurdles to be overcome; to be looked back upon with reflection and at times even celebration. I have been given the opportunity to get out and embrace this world with all of its wonder and all of its imperfections. Be sure to tell those you love that you do at every chance - this life is one crazy ride without Google maps.