It's been awhile since I've mentioned the Fat Cyclist on my blog. I think the last time was when my cousin Chris and I did the Little Red Riding Hood last June. At the time Elden's (Fatty's) wife had just been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and was just beginning treatments. A year has passed, full of chemo and radiation, and after a short break in treatments, it was discovered last week that Susan's brain is showered with tumors.
If you're feeling up to a good cry, read here and here and here. I just can't even fathom preparing to die, worrying about leaving your spouse and kids, going through the physical pain, and yet, you have something to look forward to, something unknown and wonderful that is waiting for you. Now imagine being the one left behind. The one who is going to have to raise children without their mother for years. It's devastating. How do you carry on with your daily routines amid the loneliness and heartbreak? How do you work all day then come home to cook, do laundry, mow the lawn, fix the cars, much less be emotionally available to your children? All knowing that it's not a temporary state that will soon be relieved. It's so overwhelming.
I've been so proud of Dan and his friends who have spent many hours trying to figure out how they can help. It's hard to witness such heartache. You want to just go home and hug your family and be with them, yet you have to continue life. You just can't live every day of your life like it's your last. As right as it seems, you still have obligations to meet and life must continue.
I'm rambling, and most of these thoughts are Dan's anyway, but the whole reason I shared them is because, though I don't know Susan and Elden that well, their situation is dear to me and to Dan. The human heartache of it is overwhelming, but there is also the practical aspect of medical bills, home care, taking care of the kids, etc. It's an incredible burden to bear and while they are getting lots of physical help, they will be needing lots of financial help as well.
It's not always easy to get emotionally invested in helping someone you don't know, but if you are so inclined, you can contribute to their fight in two ways. Read this blog post for a link to donate to a bank account set up in their name, or you can purchase one of the new Fat Cyclist jerseys. (I thought this might appeal to Black Sheep and White Sheep #1.) Jerseys are awesome if you bike or do any kind of fitness where you're out for awhile. All of the proceeds from these jerseys will go directly to help Susan's fight against cancer.
Today I am feeling grateful for Dan, for how much he loves me, for the wonderful father that he is, and for this time we have together.