Category Archives: Life

I Remember You, Meg.

Two years ago today, my brother’s daughter, Meg,  succumbed to the illness, and treatment of, Leukemia.  She was 7 years old.

After her diagnosis, I found solace on my bike.  In 2009 I rode my first Pan Mass Challenge.  That year, the cycling challenge was unknown to me so I followed the training schedule like any dedicated overachiever would.  In the years since, my readiness has fluctuated mildly, but I have always managed to be prepared enough.  I love riding, despite the physical pain it has caused.

I recent years, my family cut back to one care and I’ve since committed to commuting by bike.  This has brought a great deal of joy for me.  Even when riding in snow storms.  Especially when riding in snow storms (see the weather for that day).  Being outside, in the woods, under the sun, rain or snow every morning and every evening is my time to breath and think and remember.

When I’m on my bike, I remember her.  I remember Meg.  Or at least, I think I do.  I think about her.  I have plenty of time.  I do need to watch out for trees, and turtles and deer at times, but I also think about Meg, her family, her friends, and the people who cared for her.

I started riding my bike because I knew no other way to help her.  For three years I rode with her in my mind.  Those thoughts pushed me forward, kept my legs moving, and got me up hills.  Frustrated.  Angry.  Sad.  Hopeful.

 

And then she was gone.

 

No more frustration and hope.  Only anger and sadness.

Today, I set out to publicize my feelings in some clichéd way.  After all, I didn’t practice bike-writing my kids’ names across parking lots for nothing.

The image that title’s this article was written as gracefully as I could manage across a vacant parking lot near my home while riding a bike with no seat.

Leading up to this day, I had grand plans to trace “MEG” in an open field deep in the woods.  Unfortunately, when I reached the field, I found it to be so overgrown that I would have either come out with Lymes disease, or stayed in with a broken leg at the bottom of a hidden sinkhole.  Dejected and apologetic, I set out to the only other large open place I knew of, a parking lot.

Three miles from home, the bolt connecting seat to bike sheared off.  Pondering if I should focus on weight loss instead of fitness, I picked up the pieces and set off again, seatless and standing.  It took a few minutes convince my brain to fear sitting and thus avoid damaging my boy parts but I was successful and considered it good practice, of some kind.

With the seat in my cargo shorts, I rode and wrote as best I could.  The kerning may leave something to be desired and double tracing the ‘E’ makes it look sloppy, but overall I think it turned out OK.  Perhaps someday I’ll find a larger area that will allow me to draw letters and/or shapes that are miles across, instead of only a hundred feet or so, as these are.

Until then, and forever after, I will ride on and remember you, Meg.

I Started A Podcast – About Being A Dad.

In which Chris (my co-host) and I talk about funny happenings, helpful products, tricks we have learned, and how terrible we are at this stuff.

It’s called, “Dads Being Dads” (dadsbeingdads.net … .NET! Some jerk is sitting on .com)

If you’ve already read enough and simply want to give it a listen, or perhaps a 5-star rating without listening at all, here is the site and iTunes link.  We will be publishing shows every week, recorded at night and in fear that we might wake one of the 5 children between us.

By my estimates, there are probably about 1 billion dads on the planet at any given moment.  In my opinion, we don’t talk enough together about being dads.  Chris and I enjoy it and we hope that you might get something from listening to us make fools of ourselves one hour a week.

If we end up angering some of you, or if you think you have something to add, let us know.  We are always looking for good subject matter.

If you’re this deep into the read and still wondering what exactly a podcast is, I applaud your commitment.  In short, it’s talk-show that is pre-recorded and distributed over the internet.  Apple & iTunes provide a nice directory of shows and the means to subscribe to them.  I can’t think of a better introductory show for you to try out than ours.  There are many tools for listening.  If you have more questions, I’d be happy to answer them.

We have a website and some artwork that Chris has worked very hard on.  Some of you may have noticed that it is actually an old picture of me throwing my niece into the ocean.  I would have done that before I was a dad, but no one needs to know she isn’t mine.

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We are also working on some new intro music, as the current music is just stolen from iMovie.  Perhaps that music will be so great that you’ll listen to the show just to hear it.

Certainly many of you reading this won’t be interested in the show, and that’s completely understandable.  But I would appreciate it if you forwarded it along to people that you think might.  The more listeners we get, the longer we’ll be able to continue doing this.

Hugs and Kisses,

-Randy

 

Rest in Peace, sweet girl.

There’s a name for when you get a song stuck in your head.  It’s called an “Earworm“.

Wednesday evening I was laying on my back and staring at the sky through the screen of our tent.  My son was asleep next to me.  I was waiting for the call to confirm Meg’s passing.  It came around 10PM.  I was prepared to receive it, but not for what to do after. Continue reading

Rest in peace, Doctor Franklin Thompson PHD.

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Born somewhere around 1994, died 01/23/2009.

He was the only cat in the shelter that was fully grown. No one wanted him because he wasn’t a kitten. And as it happens, he had FIV (cat AIDS). He also tried to rip my arm off when we let him out of the cage… and maybe others had that same experience.

He was perfect.

I’ll miss him dearly.