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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Back to the Grind

My father's funeral was on Thursday the 19th. On the 20th, Todd and I left for our annual trip to Little Cayman. We had planned on going for our anniversary and the fourth of July, as we always do, but had to reschedule at the last minute due to my dad's illness. At the time, I hadn't known what course his illness was going to take, so it was just by coincidence that we ended up rescheduling to leave immediately after the funeral.

I'll post more on the trip at another time. But, we arrived home Friday and then we've kind of relaxed this weekend (and watched the Olympics non-stop).

I did my first run in 2 1/2 weeks on Saturday. I was supposed to do 14 miles, but for a number of reasons I didn't do that many. Our plane was late Friday night, so I didn't get to sleep until 12:30am, but I was supposed to be up at 4:45am to meet my group to run. I wasn't sure what would happen with my foot and I had been told not to run more than a half mile if my foot was bothering me. I was coming down with a cold (which I am still suffering from, but is thus far fairly mild).

Todd was doing the water stop for the group, so I went down with him, and ran from there. I ended up running with two different groups at two different intervals for a total of about 6 miles. It felt really good. The top of my foot really isn't bothering me today, but the arch pain (plantar faciitis) is. Tuesday, I start my treatment, and I am really looking forward to resolving this issue finally.

Since the month of July was basically shot for everything besides my dad and a little bit of running here and there, I am ready to get back to the gym and cross training and swimming. I feel horribly out of shape and it's really bothering me. I forced myself to rest today because I have a cold, but I am eager to get back into it. I've mentioned a few times that I have put on some weight this year. Some of it was muscle, but I am 100% certain that I've lost muscle these last few weeks, but more weight has come on. I'm getting my thyroid tested  this week as well, so I'll find out soon if my dosage is right or not.

I'm trying to be cool with my weight gain. This is how it is. I'm stressed, I've had a lot of things going on. When I stopped counting calories, I said that I would be fine with what my body wants to do. It's just not an easy task. I'm working on it, the mental part of this is the hardest part.

Anyway, here's a little photo that I took last week from our resort. It was lovely :) That island in the background is where we got married in 2009.

Southern Cross Club - we were in the pink building in the distance
this year
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Foot Update

In the midst of everything else, I am getting my foot checked out. I ended up visiting a Sports Rehab clinic, and they had me get an x-ray. The x-ray thankfully showed that I do not have a stress fracture. That is good, and it means that I don't have a serious injury.

I have very high arches, and the physical therapist says that my feet are super-stiff. He is going to be working with me to get them stretched out and relieve the pain. Meanwhile, in the x-ray, I didn't see any evidence of arthritis (granted, I am no doctor). That's good news and could mean that a lot of the pain that I feel in my feet after long runs is actually this same problem and not arthritis.

We'll see how it goes, but I am optimistic. As it is, I haven't run since July 10. I'm giving myself a break for a while.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Remembering My Dad

New York City

I’ve been thinking about it a lot and there are so many things that I could say about my Dad. Certainly, what people will tell you is that he was a jokester and he like to make people laugh. But, what I want to talk about is one perfect day where he was just being a dad.

My mom and dad took me traveling a lot. My siblings were older than me, so they stayed home, and the three of us would go on trips in our trailer or motorhome. By the time I was twelve years old, I had seen most of the eastern seaboard from Miami to New Hampshire. We would take a trip about twice a month. Friday, we would set out on our way, and we would select a place. Where we would go only depended upon how far we wanted to drive.

If I were to ask you what my favorite place is of all of the places that I visited with my dad, you would probably expect  me to say somewhere amazing. Maybe New York City, where we climbed the Statue of Liberty on Fourth of July weekend. Maybe you’d expect me to say it was when we visited every lighthouse in the Outer Banks. Maybe, you know us well enough to expect that I would say one of our many trips to Walt Disney World.
Disney World
But it’s none of these.

My favorite trip of all with my dad was a short weekend trip to a campground in Louisa, Virginia. My dad had been away, so I hadn’t seen him for a while. It was September or October, and I was 6 years old.

Louisa is in the middle of nowhere, between Charlottesville and Fredericksburg. We went to this tiny campground that had a lake, and the place was empty. No one else was there. It was fall, but it was still warm and beautiful outside. Since there was no one else there, we convinced them to allow us to park our trailer right at the lake. We were suddenly waterfront!
Our trailer at the Lake in Louisa
My dad and I spent an entire day playing at the lake together. We swam in the lake, and played with the fish. I threw marshmallows into the water and the fish would bounce them up out of the water as if we were playing volleyball together.

We went fishing, and that day is still the only time I’ve ever fished. I caught one small fish, and then my dad cleaned and gutted it and we gave it to my mom to cook. We ended up splitting this one little tiny fish three ways. I absolutely hated fish at the time, but I loved one that I had caught myself.

That Saturday was simply the best day ever. A whole day spent with my dad. From then on, whenever we’d start driving, when my parents asked where we should go, my response would always be “LOUISA!”

They would never take me back, because there was just no way of recreating such a perfect, magical time, especially because in all honesty, this place wasn’t all that magical. I’ve decided never to go back because they were right.

So, thank you dad. Thank you for Louisa, and thank you for introducing me to travel. No matter what, I will always have those memories, and they are more precious than anything else that you could have given to me.
Cleaning the fish (there's a fish there)
Miss you, dad. 

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Sad News

My dad passed away on Thursday night. I was the only one that was there with him, which was a strange experience for me. He had been getting better. On Monday, his breathing tube was removed and he was able to talk again. He was acting a lot like his normal self. My brother was there, but I was unable to visit that day.

Then, Tuesday, he had what we think may have been a small stroke. Things were getting a little worse. Then, Wednesday night, he stopped breathing and the breathing tube had to be re-inserted. He didn't want the breathing tube back in, so the decision was made (along with him) to take it out and just make him comfortable. He passed about 24 hours later.

I have a few things to say, but that's it for now. It's been a rough month for me. Please contact me directly if you would like details about the funeral.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Quick Update

I've been busy anyway, but with my dad in the hospital, I've been more busy. I've been going down every opportunity that I have, which basically means every Saturday and Sunday, plus I went on the fourth of July. It's a 2 hour drive each way to go to the hospital, and the hospital is in a part of DC that requires me to drive through a pretty rough area to get in and out, so I don't like being there after dark unless Todd is with me.

I'm exhausted. This has been so hard. I feel like I haven't been able to rest at all since he entered the hospital. The good news is that my sister from Florida is in town for a few weeks, so she has been with him during the week. My brother visits most days as well.

We still don't know what initially caused my dad's illness. They've touched on a few things, but nothing has really panned out.

The good news is that he is doing better. He has come out of his coma, and can communicate by shaking his head yes or no. He can move his arms and legs some, but he is still on a ventilator, so he cannot talk. The coma has wiped out some of his memory, at least temporarily, so he doesn't know who any of us are. We talk to him some as if he does know, but in general, he doesn't remember anything since before the coma. Today, I played some Johnny Cash for him and he does seem to recognize Johnny Cash.

It's hard. This has been really hard. I wish he was in a hospital in Baltimore so that I could visit more frequently, but the driving and visiting just wears me out so much. We're taking things one day at a time, so we really don't know what comes next.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

It's our Third Wedding Anniversary!

Check out three years of celebrating!! What will this year be? :)

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