Thank You, Lord!!!
I am so blessed; I truly mean that. And at this moment I am happy, very happy, and emotionally spent. Let me tell you why! I woke up this morning and had some lovely e-mails from many of you (and I will reply, I promise, over the next few days) but one, in particular, stood out and it was from Malone and he shared some loving words and told me he was proud of me. So I set out happy and, yes, I cried a little. So we wander along on our final ride into Charleston and at one point we meet up with a police escort that guided us for 8 miles through Charleston and we had an entire lane to ourselves, a bunch of proud peacocks all decked out in our Trek XC jerseys. And we arrive at a pub where we rendezvous for the final 7 miles and we had a beer and some appetizers. So I open my e-mail and there is an e-mail from Morgan with a video of congratulations (that took her 11 1/2 hours to upload to YouTube) and so I’m sitting by myself at a table outside (relevance of location in a moment) and there I go crying again. The video is so touching. So I’m sitting there red-eyed and I hear someone say “hello, there” and I look up and it’s my oldest sister Shirley, age 72, and behind her are two of her amazing sons, Rick and Mike, and their beautiful female partners, Laurie and Pam. I was stunned and thrilled and I tell you, if my heart wasn’t so strong, I would have had a heart attack right there. I was reeling with joy and surprise. It turns out that Shirley et al had just driven 19 hours straight from Sault Ste. Marie, Canada to surprise me (yes, Cayce was in on it). Okay, so another crying jag and much hugging. You see, I love all my brothers and sisters equally but Shirley is just special because she reminds me of our Mom so much and she just lost her loving husband of 52 years, Tom, in March and we seem to have grown closer through my epic challenge. So I need to leave Shirley and head off in our group to our final destination. We get about a mile up the road and there’s Shirley, Rick, Mike, Laurie, and Pam at the side of the road congratulating me and all the Trek XC riders with lovely home-made signs. A few more tears. So then we arrive at our final destination at the Atlantic Ocean and there’s Cayce and the Casey’s and the Youngs, all decked out in newly minted congratulatory t-shirts welcoming me along with Shirley’s family. A few more tears. Then the dipping of the bike in the Atlantic and more tears in recognition of what I’ve accomplished and how loved I am. I’m hoping I’ll be able to upload all the pictures we took.
So now we’re about to go out to dinner (all 11 of us) to celebrate Cayce’s 55th birthday. More tears on the way.
So now you can understand why I’m so happy and emotionally spent. So I was going to offer some perspective on my experience over the past 6 weeks but I think I’ll save that for tomorrow.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for staying with me. Now, let’s see if the pictures came through.