The ride is over and I did my 35 miles.
I had a good time, got lots of exercise, met some interesting people … and got involved in a cause that both directly and indirectly effects me.
I raised $3380 … which made me an “Ultimate Champion for Diabetes”. I got a fancy shmancy gold medal and, theoretically, a champions riding jersey (although that didn’t arrive on time, so I wore a red riders jersey). The medal was kind of silly, but I would have liked to have been able to wear the jersey.
Riding helped me in many ways … there’s the obvious cardio benefit, which helps keep my diabetes under control, but it also helped me deal with the stress of my mom’s illness and passing. About three weeks before the ride, my co-worker Marty and I were planning on doing a 35 mile ride (following the Tour de cure route), when my mom was moved into the hospice unit at St. James Hospital. He asked if I wanted to cancel our ride, but I told him that I needed to ride.
I’d like to thank everyone who sponsored me on the ride … your support is greatly appreciated.
This post could also be titled: Why Carl Kasell is the greatest guy in the world!
If it hadn’t been for my mom’s passing last week, this Sunday would be my parents 50th wedding anniversary.
My brother Mitch, the really creative one in the family, pulled out all the stops. He got a letter from Senator Dick Durbin, a card from Barack & Michell Obama, and to top it all off … he arranged to have Carl Kasell to record a special greeting for the event.
The original plan was to do a “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” (WWDTM) format game during the anniversary party (which had been scaled back from a big even to a much smaller affair, for obvious reasons) … and Mitch thought that the only thing missing was Carl Kasell’s intro. So he sent an email to the producers of WWDTM, explained the situation and asked if it would be possible to get Carl to record a message, and they agreed.
For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook, I’m sad to announce that my mother, Leah Gibbs, passed away last week after a long battle with cancer.
It was a long time coming and we were (more or less) prepared. None the less, it was very hard.
The funeral was held last Thursday and, despite bad weather, there were a tremendous number of people in attendance … they even had to open up the partition in the synagogue to accommodate the number of people. It was a heart warming testament to the number of people who’s lives intersected with my moms.
Although I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it, I did speak at the funeral service … here’s what I said: