Yesterday was one year since the crash I've written about here previously. I sent this email out to friends and cycling club members and just thought I would share it with this group of friends many of whom have been supportive of me. Thank you.
"It's been one year since I crashed. Crashed and broke my neck. For reasons unknown to me I am not dead or paralyzed. Today is a day to celebrate. A celebration of renewal. So, this morning I went off on a ride to my favorite donut shop. A chocolate donut and a cup of black coffee and 17 miles on my bicycle. Finally a guilt-free donut. Later Vicki and I joined our Wednesday ride and did another 30 miles with a strong group of riders. For both rides I averaged 15 mph. Only cyclists, especially cyclists approaching age 70, will understand why that matters.
Afterwards Vicki and I went out to dinner. Later I sat out on the porch in a rocking chair with a Bushmill's and a cigar and began remembering. A crash for unknown reasons, a rush to two hospitals, a fusion of my cervical spine and a time of rehabilitation. But, that's not really the important part. As I lay in a hospital bed there were thoughts that filtered through my head.....when this is over I will be better than before.....I do not want to die and leave this sadness for Vicki, Wolf, Jocelyn and my friends....I do not want to disappoint my friends. As I was being taken to my second operation I had the distinct feeling that I could die and it was OK. OK except for what it might mean to others. But, I was at peace with whatever happened.
Then friends came. David and Melanie, Mike and WJ, Bob Douglas, Skip...the list goes on and on. People who make the planet a better place. Through it all Peter Hughes was there to stand with Vicki. She and I are forever grateful for everyone's contribution to my healing. And hers. When I told Pete how much I appreciated his friendship and comfort to Vicki he said, "She's the gold standard." Indeed she is. Whatever force of Spirit caused our paths to meet and merge is a miracle to me. Not a day goes by.... literally not a day.... that I don't realize how fortunate I am to know her.
And, I am especially grateful for friends I have known forever like Tuck and Chris whose friendship grows continually and new friends we've met through TCC and other endeavors. I was an only child of a single mother surrounded by an Italian family of many aunts, uncle and cousins. But, for me, my friends have always been "family." So, today is not so much a celebration of my rising, Phoenix like from ashes, as a celebration of what all of you bring to me and the world.
I just wanted to say "Thank you." Much love and appreciation.