I think you all have experienced it. Looking at a blog, or website, or daily Facebook updates, which was where I just spent the last 20 minutes. Not really expecting to find something fascinating, but a couple of clicks away there opens up a wonderful story. I'm often very hesitant to click on those videos and pictures that pop up, supposedly placed on your screen by an inanimate processor that thinks it knows what you like. Happens a lot on Facebook.
This morning I clicked on a story from Outside Magazine, which I know is a good and legit publication, so I didn't think it would be risky. Turned out to be a lengthy article, but I am so glad it was placed in front of my face. It is titled "The Toughest Woman on Two Wheels". Juliana Buhring is an inspiring person, whether she be of either gender. The fact that she is a woman resonates more with me. Please click on the link to read her story. She has also written books, as explained in the article, which I am going to track down for myself.
There is a video clip within that article which will give you a shortened version of what she does. One thing that really jumped out at me when I watched it was her demeanor. Kind of the opposite of what is usually depicted about people who have made great accomplishments in their lives. Usually they are pretty upbeat, positive, outgoing sorts of people. Not Juliana. She is about the opposite of that, quiet and unassuming. She talks about having been very depressed at some times in her life, but finding her way out of it partly due to her affinity for bicycling. Whatever works.
The last few months, since my father died January 13, have been unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Bits of grieving woven into everyday life, lots of distracted thinking about times past, and trying to "be there" for my mom. For the most part, doing pretty well. But at the same time, feeling like I am muddling along. When I go to visit my mom, it is much different, to be in their house with my dad's presence and reminders of the life he lived. And such a good life it was.
Just lately, I have sensed that I was feeling less muddled, and getting back to enjoying more things. Maybe it's partly the end of winter and arrival of spring, that always helps! We had a great winter vacation to a tropical paradise. And starting on a home improvement project that I have wanted to do for a long time. And visiting my little grandsons and their mom and dad in a beautiful spot, Charlotte, NC.
And then, this week a good friend died. It's just not right. Sheri and I were friends since birth, since she was born one day before me and we were in the same hospital nursery. We lived only a few miles apart, close enough that I could ride my bike to her house. Coming from a small town and a small school, we were always involved in the same classes, activities, parties, etc. We sometimes shared a birthday party, since all the same kids were invited. And many sleep-overs, and a secret club, and telling each other who we would marry, every detail of the wedding, what our house would be like, and the children we would have!
She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in February. This was while her husband, Paul, was undergoing chemo for colon cancer with liver mets diagnosed in December. Paul was also a member of the Class of '71, and another friend for many years. He and Sheri were the quintessential high school sweethearts that lived happily ever after, until now. From what has been shared on Caring Bridge, it seems that Paul has been doing well with surgery and chemo and showing improvements. They have a son and daughter, and I am so sad for them. It is hard to understand what they are going through right now.
Earlier this week, I received a message with this quote:
The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
This means a lot to me, to remember that there is no shortcut to "get over it". Best to just experience what is happening, and it will progress to something else. I admit, I am one who is prone to keep myself busy so I don't get mired down in problems. Not so much right now. There are good days, and there are bad days, and somehow it all balances out in the long run. So even though I am so, so sad that people close to me are gone from this earth, I do continue on. And hopefully the world and my life is better for it.