Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Different Ending Than We'd Planned

Hi folks,
As most of you know, Kali, Jamie and I had planned to leave today to meet up with Dee in St. Augustine as she dipped her front wheel in the Atlantic Ocean and concluded her ocean to ocean bike journey on May 25th.

Sadly, my sister Jane-Ellen has been in UPMC Presby the past 2 weeks. She initially had a brain seizure and abdominal pains. Her diagnosis was systemic vasculitis which is an auto-immune disease that affects blood vessels throughout the body. The seizures were controlled quickly but on Thursday she needed to have half her small intestine removed. She is recovering in the ICU unit and doing ok.. I believe she will get better but it may take a while. As a result, I have needed to stay in Pittsburgh and we will not be able to be there at the end of Dee's ride. Clearly, at times, life can frustrate the best laid plans.

For the folks who have been willing to make heroic efforts to be there in our place and offered to help Dee find her way home to Pittsburgh (Laura, Donna Lee, and others) our heartfelt thanks for your generosity and kindness.

I spoke with Dee this morning and she understands that we will be with her at the end in spirit if not in person. I'm sure the end of her journey will be bittersweet with difficult goodbyes to dear friends who were unknown to her a little more than two months ago...such is life on the road.

Dee will be flying home on Wednesday. It will be good to have her with us again. I'm hoping she will be able to make the final post on the blog in the next few days. For those of you who have been readers and commenters on the Blog, thank you.

Best Regards,


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear the bad news. Jane is incredibly strong with a great brother and family. I pray and believe she will be fine. Dee, you could just ride back - should be no sweat now! We cant wait to see you. Congrats in advance.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sweetie:
It's Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and I'm thinking your group is closing fast on the Atlantic Ocean. It pains me that we will not be there when you arrive. I believe it will be an emotional & joyous ending to an amazing undertaking.

I hoped I wouldn't be the first one to post on this entry (thanks Sally!).

I remember being proud when you first started thinking about doing something like this last Summer. The dream and desire gradually unfolded, and here you are today at journey's end. Just in terms of sheer physicality, this trip trumps anything I've ever done.

I always loved your crazy, dreamer side and this trip has caused me to fall in love with you all over again during these past 2 plus months. Most would have said your biking resume was a bit thin to contemplate a ride like this, but I've always believed passion, dreams and grit outweigh credentials everytime.

We are thinking of you today and send our love. Look forward to seeing you soon. I love you with all the madness in my soul.


Donalee said...

Dee and Rob, You are both incredible people, and Bob and I have been blessed by your friendship. Great emotions are flowing not only with you two, Kali and Jamie, but with everyone who knows you. Again, if you need anything at all, please don't hesitate to call. Love you both.

Kali said...

Hey Mama,

Well, you've made it!!! We are all so proud of you. It's been hard having you away so long, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I know how important this trip has been for you and I'm really glad you went for it, despite our occasional doubts and fears. When I look at your pictures I know this journey was everthing you needed it to be. You have so much heart, and I feel that more in your absence than ever. I'm left speechless by your strength and tenacity. I look forward to running into your arms for a big "mom hug." We love you so much. And for now, I can only leave you again with my Rilke.
XOXO, Kali

"...From fulfilled images the spirit abruptly plunges toward ones to be filled; there are no lakes until eternity. Here falling is our best. From the mastered emotion we fall over into the half-sensed, onward and onward...

O you wandering spirit, deftest at change!...Only you drift like the moon. And down below, your nocturnal landscape grows bright and darkens--that sacredly startled landscape you feel in departure. No one ever gave it up more sublimely, gave it back to the whole more uninjured, less marred by need. So too, during years you'd ceased counting, you played devoutly with that infinate happiness, as though it were not inside you but lay all about, belonging to no one, in the earth's soft grasses, left there by celestial children."

Anonymous said...

Well Ms Dee.....You are certainly someone I admire tremendously....! I am sorry to hear about Rob's sister my prayers are with her and your will finally be home !....You have one amazing family....and that's is an under statement....! There are so many people that have been with you from day # 1 and you are everyone's "HERO"....Can't wait to see you at need to rest now.....haha....!!
Luv Ya....
See you soon...

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

Hi Dee --

All of my words are very small in the face of what you have accomplished -- which is so tremendous and huge.

I know the journey you have begun is shifting, but most certainly will continue. You have always had so much to give, and have always been so generous and sharing.

Thanks for including us in this part of your journey. You have inspired us all.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dee,
I'm so sorry to hear about Rob's sister. I think she is the one I met at the Lutheran Church on N.S. What a sweet girl! She will be in my prayers. Well, you're "almost" home. Now what? How could you ever top what you just did!! I also want to thank you for including all of us in your journey. I've been so excited for you. Everyday the first thing I look at, on the computer, is your blog! Now what am I going to do??? Really, thanks so much, it was fun getting to know your family better also. What a great support group you have, what a great "team", all of you. The love, trust and respect you all have for each other is admirable. Can't wait to see you.
Love You,
Linda T

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!! You did it!! We are all so proud of you. What a wonderful experience. Thank you Dee, Rob, and your family for sharing this with all of us. Also, my prayers are with Rob's sister and hope that all will be well with her. Looking forward to seeing you back at Curves.

Sharon Foster

Anonymous said...

And so Dee's Journey continues, just not as much time on the bike . . . It sounds like you've accomplished more than shedding a few pounds and tears. Thanks for epitomizing "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." So can Rob's sister.
Our Prayers Go w/ You, Laura & Mick

Anonymous said...

Dear Dee and Rob,

First, Rob, I'm so sorry to hear about Jane. We will keep her in our prayers. I know how dearly you want to be there when Dee climbs off her bike that last time. But she knows that as well and the important thing is being there when she arrives home ready to share her triumph with those she adores most.

Dee, you've done it. I never doubted that if you started this, you'd finish. You have a spirit that burns just a bit brighter than the rest of us and we all get to bask in your glow. You are so amazing. We all say it over and over and it seems inadequate, but that's all I know to say. I wish I could have been there when you finished, but my thoughts and prayers have been there right along. Travel home safe and soak in all the love and accolades. You deserve it. Congrats to you my friend.

Love you, Shar

jenny said...

Dee--I am so proud to know you! You make this momma of four little ones want to dream big. I am SO excited for your next post.

I loved Robb's line "passion, dreams and grit outweigh credentials everytime"! Those are words to live by for me.

Robb--I am so sorry to hear of your sister's illness. Our prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

Well Dee you made it...........

Just reading your family's comments gives me the chills and a tear.

Congratulations on a momentous accomplishment !!!!!!

Looking forward to a big hug too and a Geneva trip with all.

Uncle Dave.......

Anonymous said...

Dee and family,
We have enjoyed following your adventures, exploits, and all the happy and sad times. This is just an amazing experience. We will keep Jane in our prayers for a speedy recovery. Dee, you need to host a "travelog" at Curves some evening so we can hear all the stories and see your pictures from your amazing journey. Talk to you soon!
Mardie and Jim