I am so lucky to have such a caring and loving sister. She, and her daughter Bridget, flew out to Saint Louis, followed me for 4 days as I rode a bike, and then flew home.
In between, they took really good care of me, making sure I was eating enough (not a problem), staying hydrated, applying sunscreen, charging the devices for the bike, and many, more things.
Well, Karen blogged and I thought it was excellent. However, she wants a do over, and I admit, this blog tugs a little more at the heart. Yup, I cried because she has captured the essence of the ride, why lung cancer needs help, what this ride means to others and how I am feeling.
So enjoy the read from my beautiful sister.
By Karen Owens, a do-over
I am not a writer. I am a numbers person. We all have those moments where a few hours after a conversation you think – uh! I know what I should have said!! But for me, that’s my every day life. I struggle to put my thoughts together quickly. It takes time for me to think things out. Gather my thoughts. Express my feelings. So when Jack told me on my first day as a SAG driver that he wanted me and Bridget to write a blog my first thought was – crap! I suck at this. But it’s Jack and I’ll do (pretty much) anything he asks. So I wrote a blog. It was pretty vanilla. I just recounted the day and included a few pictures. Fortunately it was a fun day with some pretty interesting signs (like Danny’s Gas Hole. I still giggle thinking about that).
So the next day it occurs to me. I know what I should have written. I know what I want to share with everyone reading this blog. So here goes …. blog, v2.
A few days ago I was talking to Jack and told him about one thing that has really hit me since he started this incredible journey. Whenever I talk to someone about RHBE I am simply stunned by the number of people who have told me that they had a loved one die from lung cancer. Standing on the soccer field, at a school meeting, talking to someone after church, in line for the tram to the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. In all of those places I have had people say … yeah, my mother in law died from lung cancer. My uncle. My grandmother. My husband. Their eyes fill up. My eyes fill up. We get quiet for a moment. And it happens all of the time. So I’m telling Jack about this and he just looks at me and says “Yeah. It doesn’t stop. It just doesn’t stop”. He said it with such sadness that in that moment it hit me. He won’t stop either. This is his motivation. This is his incentive. He knows that lung cancer won’t quit. So, in turn, he won’t quit.
Anyone reading this should know, Jack will not stop. It doesn’t matter how many hills he has to bike up to get to San Francisco. It doesn’t matter how hot it gets, or if it rains. It doesn’t matter if his muscles are exhausted, or he just doesn’t feel like getting on a bike one day. He will do it every day. Because lung cancer just won’t quit.
So please help Jack as he continues this incredible but arduous journey. He will have good days and bad. He will have lots of energy one day and be drained the next. But your thoughts, your prayers, your comments are what helps him get on that bike no matter what he is feeling. Your stories of your loved one. Your words of appreciation. They are a huge boost for him. He is nearly half way there (what?!?! That’s crazy!!). Please. Keep going with him.