This is Darcie and I’s 5th year doing this ride and every year is different. The road may be the same, but weather, people and emotions are different.
Let me be a bit personal for a moment. In the past two months we have lost both of my parents and Darcie’s grandmother. Darcie came into this ride with less preparation because of the multiple funerals we had over 6 weeks. She was unsure if she would be able to make it the whole way, and didn’t want to hold back the team.
We have both felt my parents with us during this week…we know they were with us and helped Darcie along the way. So let me fast forward to yesterday, I got to Sacramento Pass before Darcie and started writing names on the road. Now Sacramento Pass is supposed to be a place to honor those who have or have had Cancer, which we did….but for me this time it was a different kind of honor.
What I’ve come to know is this….grief takes time, and if we didn’t love them it wouldn’t. While my parents didn’t die of cancer, many who’s names were written on that road yesterday did….and their loved ones grieved them just as I do mine. My parents lived long lives in relatively good health, and there was no suffering at the end. Many who’s names were written on that road did not have that good fortune. Even those who have won their battle with cancer did not do so easily, there is no easy battle against cancer.
So – for those of you grieving your loved ones who didn’t win the battle…I grieve with you. I understand it differently now….
Now to Team Kai including you Dixie – Your battle is just beginning – I can’t begin to imagine all that you are going to go through or feel….but I know this…we love you. We will stand with you, cry with you, listen to you and be there when you need us. The fight is real and you can do this!