‘The best way out is always through…” Robert Frost
Today was a rough day on the home front… but it served as a reminder of why Dave rides. After sleeping somewhat in the car, and getting to bed about midnight – Caitlin was a wreck today. I mean, we were all wrecked. But she was wrecked in an arthritis way. If you are familiar with the Spoon Theory, Caitlin overspent her spoons by a good day and a half. It’s not that she is flaring (hopefully!) – but she is having some serious activity induced swelling in her hands and knees especially. After so many hours on her feet, jumping up and down with cowbell, this is the unfortunate price to pay. But even she said it was definitely worth it! She did come home from school early though. She couldn’t face the idea of trying to grip an exacto knife in her ceramics class. But I think after an afternoon of rest, some tlc and some naproxen, she’ll be much better tomorrow! All in all, we are still in such a great place, we just try to stay grateful and not take it for granted.
It was a much shorter ride today for Dave and his friends on the CCC. The DRG had the mileage listed as 48. According to Dave, it was cold and foggy for much of the morning. He texted me from the last pit stop well before noon…
Today, he was riding with Sean… who we know as Caitlin’s friend Alexa’s dad. But everybody on the ride knows him as the Pirate. He’s in the center of this photo from a rest stop from day one…. and you can also see his thumb in the shot he took of Dave 😉
Still, they made it to camp, had showered and had tents set up by sometime around 1pm.
That left plenty of time to get shuttled in to town for a couple of brews, some football on TV and some time to chill out. Dave was sounding pretty relaxed tonight… and he’s really looking forward to tomorrow – when they head into Big Sur. I think he’s been wanting that moment again since last year – taking of his shoes and soaking his tootsies in the cool water at the River’s End.
For the mission moment tonight…. I’m afraid I’m going to be a bit of a downer first. Because, a very wonderful woman that we’ve met through this journey, and I wrote about her last year, one of the days…. she rode the ride the last two years, and wasn’t able to go this year….. she has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. This is one of those fears lurking in the minds of people who take biologic medications for arthritis – as most of them carry some fairly scary black box warnings. But really – there is no way of knowing whether those things played a part in her new diagnosis.
It’s created one of those moments when I struggle with my own spirituality… wondering how a benevolent spirit could give such a challenge to somebody who has already faced so much with RA. It’s something I struggle with regularly, exposed to so many children especially who suffer so much. But she is naturally, as positive and full of fighting spirit as she always is… and she is graceful and full of faith. I can only try to take lessons from she who is so strong – and try to put the angry questions aside for the sake of building a fortress of positive energy around Laurie as she gloves up for her fight.
But because I don’t like to end the day in tears – I’ll finish with Dave’s mission moment… from today’s 11 year old ride honoree Erica, who was diagnosed at age 9 with psoriatic arthritis. After she got out of school today, Erica was greeting the riders at the finish with cowbell and cheers… and the riders tell me, there really is no better feeling to see her smiling face as a reminder of what the day meant.