Sunday, March 18, 2012

Not That I Didn't Have a Sense Early On...

I had to take my 2001 Nissan Frontier pickup-truck in on Tuesday to replace the rear main-seal. I'm determined to get at least another couple of years use from it. I brought it to a friend Keith recommended; a friend he used to race with years ago; Bruce at Ultimate Automotive in Apple Valley. Rather than have Tammy drive me home I decided to walk and rather than take a direct route home I took a roundabout way. Since I can't ride outdoors and I really do need my dose of sunshine I think I'll adopt walking as something in addition to my CompuTrainer that I'll do this summer to stay fit. My Google Music collection kept me company; all of my music totally accessible while I meandered the 8.5 miles home.

Having spent so many years as a runner (a recent post about those days) I never seriously considered walking as an alternative. Funny how one's perspective changes over time. I see myself getting as excited to go for a walk as I used to about a run.

It occurred to me on my way back to retrieve my truck a few days later while cutting through Crystal Lake golf course that I really do miss golfing. I put my clubs away in 1997 when I was divorcing Noy and could neither afford it nor focus on what I was doing out there. But when all of that was behind me something unexpected happened; I'd lost all interest in the game. I think I may have had my clubs out twice in all the years since. I'm quite sure that in my retirement I'll find my way back to the course; at least that's been my plan all along. It took standing on the 1st tee looking out over the fairway Friday afternoon to rekindle that dream.

I stopped in to see Mom yesterday. She's doing well. She was excited to show me the body donor card they gave her to keep with her and a letter she received from the University of Minnesota thanking her for her commitment to donating her body. I told her of a conversation I'd had with Rachel last week where she talked about a recent experience of hers in the cadaver lab at school. It had been a very stressful week leading up to the STLF trip and she was frazzled. She found herself in the middle of the cadaver lab and noticed that a calmness had come over her. All of the other issues she was worried about took a back seat while she focused on the task at hand. A request went out from the instructor asking for a volunteer to use the bone saw and open the chest cavity. Without hesitation, Rachel's hand shot up. She detailed the entire experience for both Tammy and I. We sat there hanging on her every word excited for all she is experiencing and accomplishing. She went on to say (and this is the part I wanted to stress for Mom) that from the very beginning they're instructed and reminded to treat each body with dignity. That thought is never forgotten.

Rachel returned from her STLF trip last night. She stopped in for an hour to chat and fill us in on her week before getting together with some friends still at home for spring break; her voice hoarse from all the talking she's been doing. I had no idea of the leadership role she played in putting this trip together until she called us last Sunday night. I think my health issues maybe got in the way of her sitting down and letting me know what she was up to.

She was one of four students who organized and led the activities for her bus. It sounds like they were putting in some full days. From listening to her talk I don't know that she's ever been on a more rewarding trip or bonded with her companions in the way they did over the last eight days. Not just bonding through having a fun time together but bonding in some much deeper, vulnerable ways where they would open up to one another through activities designed to do just that. It was an experience I don't think she'll soon forget.

The highlight of her time with everyone was seeing the freshman grow through the experience. Their bus got some high praise from others who took note of how well they were working together. I can't say it enough how blessed I am to be in her life and watch as she grows in ways I never quite imagined or expected.

Not that I didn't have a sense early on that she is an incredibly special person.

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