Words that I heard Sandy say many times in the last months of her life… whenever a suggestion was made for something as ordinary as a walk, or more ambitious like going out dancing or a trip to the Oregon coast… or making the long journey to the LiveStrong Challenge one week before she died… she would always smile in a determined way, fighting the effects of chemo and cancer… and, when she had gathered her last bit of strength, just say “Alright then, let’s go.” I still hear her voice saying those simple words. And they hold so much power and inspiration for me. Because they were not just words… we got up and got going. Not all of the time, because some days her body would not let her, but most of the time she got us going.
And though recently that has been a tough thing for me to do, I’ve heard her voice… and keep going. Some days better than others. Even though the calendar and the longer days and the rapidly melting snow say spring is around the corner, the nights have been getting longer for me. The more time that passes without Sandy by my side does not ease the loss… it deepens beyond measure. But I hear her words and keep going… though I’m in the deep, I keep swimming. Some days I don’t know why. And then there are days when I need get a little kick in the pants to get going. Usually it’s a memory of her and something she would say.
And sometimes it’s an email from someone… like “D” - recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. And sometimes, like tonight, it’s an email from a friend at the Lance Armstrong Foundation…. Sandy is being honored on the home page of the LiveStrong Challenge…
And even though I have photos of that day framed on the wall, to see her on their website again… let’s just say I’ve gotten pretty good at typing with tears in my eyes… Thank you, Stephanie.
So “Team Friends of Sandy” and anyone else who who would like to join the team or donate to a cause that helps those with cancer, consider this a “let’s go” and click the link above, go to the Portland, Oregon page and search for Dan O’Connor / or the “LiveStrong Challenge 2007″ link in the left sidebar to go to directly our team website.
A side note to my cycling friends: despite the constant pain of severe knee and shoulder injuries from being hit by a truck 2 years ago, and despite the fact that it’s still officially winter and there’s snow on the ground - my sometimes manic desire to “get going” got me back on the bike in late January and I have 250 miles on the odometer for the year - not bad for mid-March and considering most of those miles were ridden in temps below 35-degrees, dodging patches of ice on the road. I’ve paid dearly for the pain of cold weather riding, but it has also kept me breathing… so I’m looking forward to riding the warmer weather of spring and summer, and Portland in September, and hopefully Austin in October. So get those bikes out…
Alright then, let’s go… Sandy is with us.