Tuesday, January 27, 2009
For just about four years now I have wanted to complete the Tour de Cure. Since the last big fund-raising ride I completed in Lake Tahoe (100 miles and $4,400!!!!) almost three years ago, I have had an enormous urge to ride for my dad.
As far back as I can remember my dad has had Type I diabetes. I remember being taught how to inject an orange with his insulin using a practice bottle filled with water...making certain that I employed the correct technique...carefully checking that there were no air bubbles in the syringe...purposefully puncturing the tough peel and delivering the required dosage.
I also remember feeling absolutely terrified that at some point I may actually be required to put this knowledge into practice and administer the life-saving medication to my dad.
I remember learning how to recognize both low and high blood sugars via his behavior and then remaining hypervigilant when he seemed in any way "out of sorts."
I remember conversations with my dad about his disease and how it would probably affect him and his body over time.
I remember him sharing with me that he probably would die much younger than other fathers.
And I remember having to prepare myself mentally and emotionally for him leaving me too soon.
I want to prevent someone else from similar memories. I want to make sure my dad outlives his predictions. I want to do my part to help find a cure for this difficult, horrible and chronic disease.
So...in just four short weeks, Steven, Alissa, Kinsey and I will be doing just that!
Together, Kinsey, Steven and I will be cycling together for sixty miles along Casperson Beach in Venice, Florida while Alissa volunteers at the sign-in tables.
Together, all four of us will be raising much needed money for a cause very near and dear to my heart.
And with my dad cheering us on, together, we will make some new memories.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Have you ever had to pinch yourself when you think about just how lucky you are? Out of the billions of men on the planet I was fortunate enough to find and marry my best friend.
The man who still makes me weak in the knees...and makes my heart skip a beat.
The husband who continues to work on our marriage every single day...even when I'm being difficult.
The father who adores his girls enough to make them his first priority...always.
The protector who ensures my health and safety...without fail.
The romantic who continues to surprise me with the creative ideas that tumble around in his huge heart...just for me.
The confidant who is a soft place to land when I need to vent and sort out my clutter...every single time I need him.
I'm surprised my arms aren't black and blue from the bruises...because I pinch myself so often.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Surrounding myself with people who are full of integrity, honesty and compassion has become a mission. There was a time, not so long ago, when I got off course...I think I must have misplaced my compass for a while. Now I am refocused because I realize how and with whom I spend my time is a responsibility to be taken seriously. If I am investing my precious time with others, outside of my immediate family, I must be certain that those people are, in fact, honorable. As the old saying suggests, "You are the company you keep." For a time, I questioned this saying...went against my better judgement...tried to go against my grain...and suffered for it. After a great deal of heartache along with a liberal dose of some internal name-calling, I'm back on track. A recent trip to the Saturday morning open market with just such people has helped to steer me back in the right direction.
It's taken nearly 18 years to accept Florida as my home. Sure, my beautiful girls were born here, I own my little personal piece of paradise, and I will probably never live anywhere else...but, it never truly felt like my home...the kind of home that evokes feelings of comfort, peace and belonging. Somehow I've always felt somewhat like a visitor and this was just a short stop along my journey. I guess since my parents split, I've always felt like something of a drifter...not quite fitting perfectly anywhere. Sure, my parents (and step-mom) have done their best to keep me close, but I don't have a family home to return to, and I never will. It doesn't necessarily make me sad but it does allow me (when I let it) to feel less attached, less secure, like somehow my tenuous hold to this earth will be taken from me at any moment. But, each day I send my roots a little deeper. No longer am I like the stunning majestic palms that welcome me home daily...whose roots run right along the surface. I'm more like the sturdy oak that continues to weave its way deeper and deeper into the ground. I am finally allowing the sandy soil on which I've built my life to truly soak into my soul...and I'm relieved.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
It's taken me what feels like eons to get back into some sort of routine since the holidays departed...but finally I seem to have established a comfortable rhythym once again. Now when I feel tortured by the never ending list of to-do's on my list or discouraged by the hours spent in my car racking up the miles carting teenagers all around town, I pull up these pictures on the computer...and recharge. They remind me of exactly why I do all the monontonous tasks that I do each and every day...how all of the time spent engaged in those mundane and busy chores make these precious stolen moments even sweeter.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
When my oldest child entered the world it became my greatest ambition to be a fully present and involved parent. However, due to the realities of that thrifty time in our young lives, I was required to work as the primary bread winner the first few years of Alissa's life. This unwelcome fact made my resolve for returning home to be her full-time mommy even stronger. Gratefully, just prior to the addition of Kinsey to our little family tree, that glorious goal was reached. For years and years I spent every waking minute with both of my girls and I wouldn't trade those precious memories for all the tea in China! Answering Alissa's every question about our intriguing world and picking Kinsey's warped little brain kept me in the the loop. In fact, I fashioned the loop! But relationships evolve...especially with our children...as they must. I work constantly to remain in the loop these days. It's such a challenge to be a good listener...to listen with both my heart and my head. But, I'm always striving to be better. It's an even bigger challenge to avoid offering criticism (constructive though it may be)because the loop can be yanked away without warning. But when they let me in...really let me in...it's magic...and such an honor.