grandpa eddy


The story of a little girl.

Coming home with her new album.

Simon & Garfunkle’s

Bridge Over Troubled Water.

I race in and can’t wait to put in on the turntable.

My Grandpa is on the couch. Sick.

So. Very. Sick.

It’s 1970. He has Multiple Myeloma.

Not much longer to live.

But. What do I know?

I’m just excited about this record.

I put it on the player, and the familiar piano chords come out.

My mother, not knowing what this is.

Because we just got out of the 60s.

She comes racing in to tell me not to play it.

It’s too loud!

Grandpa is sick.

He says, “Dee Dee, let her play it.”

And this is the part when I start weeping.

Every time I tell the story.

Because Sail On Silver Girl.

I can see him now. Closed eyes.

Listening to this beautiful music.

It was the last summer he was alive.

And because of his diagnosis, he didn’t see me

graduate high school, college,

He wasn’t at my wedding,

and he never saw my sons.

When I accidentally signed up with TNT the

Summer of 2009, I had no idea

how important this cause would become to me.

I needed a plan. A training plan. I already had a bib.

So, I raised money. I trained.

And. The morning of my first NIKE marathon

The loudspeaker says “Multiple Myeloma”

and my mother looks at me and says,

“That’s what Grandpa had”

His name. Written on my arm.

And now, 4 marathons later,

I run in SLO with his name again.

I am so close. The total at top

does not reflect what I really need.

What I really need.

Is for every little silver girl

To have her Grandpa.

As long as she can and maybe for a lifetime.

If you want to donate to the cause, click here

(This is a post on my fundraising page.  To date, I have raised $2069.80,

and have to raise $2375.  Only $305 to go, if in case you want to help.)

tough times to raise a buck.

As I go to press with this post that has been looming in my psyche for days, I hear the muffled sighs and rolling of eyes.  Or, maybe that’s me.

Most of my friends and family know that I’m fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  It’s all over this blog.  I started fundraising accidentally in 2009, and also accidentally found out that my Grandfather also died from a blood cancer.  Thus, my new love for TNT.

It was easier in 2009.  I was fresh.  Fundraising was fun.

Last fall, I definitely wanted to run the Nike Women’s (Half) Marathon for that Tiffany, and didn’t get the lottery draw, so I joined TNT again.  One heel injury, and vertigo spells later, I had to bow out, with $800 to the good.  I definitely wanted to finish what I started for SF, and found out that San Luis Obispo was also a TNT race.  WOW.  Rollover complete!

This is not a lottery race.  It’s fairly cheap, and I could buy my way in.  I don’t have to continue to raise the money.  At $2550, I think of how much MORE I have to raise to run with the team.

It’s tough times.  I am in a forever non-foreclosing house, making near poverty level, hanging on to rickety pickets on my fence, propping up my back fence with 2 by 4s, broken bits and pieces of the house held together with duct tape.  Seriously.  Why would I take on fundraising in times like this?  Why not just pay for the marathon, and be done with it.

Because.

Because I know that kids who have leukemia have a 97% chance of living now.  From the FACTS brochure: (my words…and my stellar chart-reading skills)

  • If you had Myeloma in 1960, you had a 12% survival rate.  Now?  41%
  • A kid with Hodgkins?  In 1960, 40% chance…now…86%
  • Every 4 minutes someone in the US is diagnosed with a blood cancer.  By the time it took me to run my 5 miles today, 14 people were diagnosed.  Every FOUR MINUTES.
  • Myeloma rarely occurs in people under 45.
  • LLS has awarded $814 MILLION in research grants.  MILLION.  That’s a lotta zeroes, people.

So.  I have $900 more to raise.  I have a football pool.  I am trying not to bug you.  It’s a bitch to raise money in these times.  People don’t want to see me coming.  I usually think, why would I want to do this?  I HATE asking people for money.

Then, I think about my Grandpa.  How I was the first born grand-daughter of the Bon Bon Ice Cream Machine inventor.  How, when I was in 6th grade, and he was so sick, and I had my new Simon & Garfunkle album, my mother rushed in to tell me not to play the Rock and Roll.  And.  He said.  “Dee Dee, let her play that song…”  He loved Bridge over Troubled Water.  I am the Silver Girl, and I think of him every day.  I like to think that every time I hear it, he’s in heaven, smiling.

Chances are, he never would have seen my sons.  But.  He might have seen me graduate from college, or be the first one in our family to get a Master of Science degree.  He might have been at my wedding.  Or my other wedding.

So.  I raise money in his memory.

Please don’t think I’m playing on your sympathy.  I hate that mushy shit.  However, if it moves you to donate…even $5, then that’s awesome.  I often get hit up for fundraising.  I take my little check and let it roll into a $10 donation.  I’m embarrassed that I can’t give more, but I can’t.

So.  Go to the raffle on the top of the blog, and let your money play a game.  $1000 will be donated to TNT, and the LLS.  I will do the same for you, if you only ask.

 

Hollywood Half Marathon Christmas Giveaway

Did you say you want to run with the stars?

I’ve been given a free entry to the Hollywood Half Marathon, on April 7, 2012.

You want to win?  

It’s simple.  You know that I’m running the full San Luis Obispo Marathon

for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on April 22, 2012.

Each time you donate $20, I will enter you in the drawing

for a free bib for the Hollywood Half Marathon.

San Luis Obispo or BUST!  Donate here ~~~

I will be drawing the name of the lucky winner on Christmas Eve, and YOU get ready to run 13.1

PS-The winner will get his/her $20 refunded to them by me…so it’s a totally free bib!

Good luck, and let’s do this!!

Something Bigger Than Me

I ran my first marathon in 2009.  My Nike Women’s Race Report can be found here.  I ran 3 others.  LA twice, MCM once.  I have run at least 8 half marathons.  I have volunteered at Mile 20 water station in LA.  

Yesterday, I did a small stint at a water station for TNT.  Mile 8.5 had me setting up cups of water, gatorade, putting out salt, setting up First Aid.

You see, I ran my first marathon ever with TNT.  And, I was coming back to run Nike Women’s again this fall, and I got a pesky heel, then back injury.  I was not a happy camper.  I left the team, with a promise for Spring.  I joined the Facebook Page, but it depressed me.  I was not a part of this thing.

So, when the call came out to help a little bit for the water station, I said yes.  Because, I’m saying yes now.  To many things. (see last post).

As I waited in the chilly soon-to-be-fall morning, I started to reflect on that first 20 miler.  I remembered Knights Ferry, which we ran EVERY weekend.  I loathed the hills, and the route.  But, I went.  I was always the last in…it’s just my position, and I’ve accepted it.

I waited 90 minutes for my first runners.  Fast ones, they were.  I was so impressed that I forgot to give them a playing card (it was a poker run).  Every 20 minutes or so, groups of runners would come.  And I would give them drinks, play music.

My car battery died and I had to call AAA, but I didn’t care.  Because I was a part of something else.  Something other than my heel and my back and my bills and my kids.  I was part of something bigger than me.   Just a little water station got me thinking about all the water stations all over the country.  About people getting up at 4am to load their cars to come and support and volunteer to help.

About TNT.  About raising money for getting rid of blood cancers.  I remembered hearing my Grandpa’s Multiple Myeloma being named as one of the cancers.  I remember that morning-the morning of my first marathon- running with his name on my arm.  And my cousin’s wife (who is in remission…thank God).

And I remember the warriors.  The ones who are in chemo and radiation and hooked up to needles and given a prognosis that shakes their worlds.  And they fight.

So, when the last group of runners came through, and I looked at my empty table, and I cleaned up my mess, I thought…well, it’s not much.

But, it’s something.

Stockton Rotary Run 5K Race Report

Erika, Me, Row at start 

Wow.  Great inaugural race.  I’m told that all five Rotary groups got together to put this race together, and I must say, having had experience with “inaugurals”, this one was well run.

I had planned to race the Tough Topanga 10K on Saturday, but was hit with vertigo, making a 6 hour car trip not appealing or possible.  So, I stayed home.  Pouted.

Then realized that I had 6 donors who had purchased a mile on my race.  I needed to find something to race.  Something small.  I remembered my gal Row was talking about the Stockton race, and I simply thought…this is what I should do.

Having again forgotten to check my paces on my McMillan Race Calculator, I just drove to Stockton with a check at 6:30 this morning.  And a Sharpie.  With names on my arm, and fresh off a bout of vertigo, I got out in the wind and quickly found a Starbucks.  I waited for Row, and we walked to the starting line.

This race was to eradicate polio worldwide, and so for a worthy cause, I loved toeing the line.  A woman spoke who had polio when she was three years old, and her final words were:  “Run for those of us who can’t.”  I couldn’t believe only a day before I had been complaining about dizziness and weight gain.  It was the best perspective for the race.

Stockton is pretty flat.  It was an out and back, and I start fast as usual, but head to the back of the pack.  At the .6 mark I was thinking I really am slow, but remembered not to compare myself to all the 30 year olds here.  As I passed the 1.6 mark, I looked down to find an 8:xx pace, so I was pretty stoked.  My goal was not to do a PW (34:xx) and try to stay above the 11 minute mile pace.

I’m pretty happy with my pace.  10:23 and 6th place out of 12 in my age group.  I also was 24th out of 51 of all the women.  I have to remember that I’m not really running against anyone.  Not even against myself.  I am just running.  And, when I beat a prior time, I get that inner strength to toe the line again next week, because this season I’m running strictly for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and you can sponsor me for a mile or two here.  Today, I ran for Randy, a former teammate from the 2009 TNT team.  He ran with me.  Was diagnosed with Leukemia.  Died this year.  I thought of him today.

Great job Stockton!  My favorite part?  The old school food at the end.  Cookies from a package, and cut up oranges.  I will be back for this one!

the wineyard rocks.

 

Join us for

A night of Wine Tasting

To raise funds and help beat cancer for

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The WineYard is offering wine tasting for $20

++ You also get a raffle ticket to win a Magnum of Wine!++

Half of your donation goes to the LLS Society

and Team In Training

May 28, 2011

4-7 pm

1948 E Thousand Oaks Blvd
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

(805) 230-2773

www.wineyardinc.com

A big thanks to my sister and her business partner for letting me hold my event in their hood!  It should be a great time, with a magnum of wine as a giveaway!  If you can’t come, but still want to donate, please visit my link!  Thanks to everyone!

Here’s a picture of the my two sisters and me in The Wineyard last Christmas…Left to right, youngest to oldest!

In Which I Give Up Twitter…

Twitter.  I loved you. 

You introduced me to TNT, and training for my first marathon.  I shifted from blogging and commenting to interacting in more efficient ways.  Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office responded to my tweet about losing my job in 2009, and they helped me navigate the system.  When Michael Jackson died, it was Twitter who gave me the news first. 

I had long, lonely days and nights where I could non-stop tweet about anything I want.  And, you loved me.  You embraced my non-sensical noise and let me ramble on about running, about parenting, about ex husbands and such.  During Dodger games, I tweeted from the MLB app, exhibiting getting deeper and deeper into the social Twitter web. 

You weren’t like chat rooms, or blogging, or message boards.  Oh, I had done them all.  Quantum Link, Weight Watchers message boards, Smart People (or something like that…).  I had long, lengthy opinions about everything, until you came along.

You, with your 140 character limit.  Until I found the Holy Grail of Bit.ly, Tinyurl, etc.  Until I found a way around your silly limit.  Like most things in my life, I found and broke the rule, and lived outside of even your box. 

I entered contests.  I retweeted with a vengeance.  I met runners galore.  I even met my coach on Twitter.  Some of my best friends are there…Yet, I abused you Twitter.  I had too much fun.  It was like going into a pub after a long, hot, hard day, and pounding the bar at 2am wondering how I had stayed so long. 

I likened Twitter to a coffee shop.  A big hall of table after table, where I could stop and enter a conversation with ease.  I often had direct messages with people I should not have been talking to.  If Twitter was a coffee shop, we were in our own room, and if you are somebody else’s mate, then I am out of bounds.  Toward the end of my Twitter run, I started noticing that I was adding more and more people, but interacting less and less. 

Twitter, you were the good friend who introduced me to other good friends.  I bashed Facebook in favor of you, and I defended you to the end.  I reluctantly joined Facebook because I started dating my out of town Harley Guy.  He was a Facebooker, and we stayed connected through that medium.  He also joined Twitter, and we professed our love for each other on both sites.  I started adding Twitteratti to my Facebook page.  Yet, I could not have both worlds.  I had to choose.

Most readers of this site know that I can be addicted to anything that God made more than one of.  You’ve seen me in my sobriety,  to giving up Diet Coke, trying to give up things that I abuse.  And, because I’m in a relationship with a sober man, my Twitter behavior simply had to change.  But not just for him.  For me.  For my sobriety.  I gave up Twitter to get closer to my God.  To who I really am.

No longer was it appropriate for me to DM (direct message) a man.  Men friends who had previously talked privately with me, were getting that message loud and clear:  I don’t DM with married men any longer.  No longer was it appropriate to flirt in the public timeline, or much worse, be suggestive.  One day a wife came on to the public timeline, and answered a tweet I sent to her husband, as if to say, “Okay.  That’s enough now.”  I heard it loud and clear, and started paying attention to my so-called persona. 

Don’t get me wrong Twitter.  I’m not judging your format, or other people who Tweet.  Everyone has their own set of rules.  But, because I’m looking for sobriety throughout my life, I simply had to let go.  I called a friend from New York as soon as I saw the addiction.  I went through my 900+ followers, and lo and behold, the 40 or so that I knew personally were on Facebook.  My New York gal pal stayed with me on the phone while I deactiveated my account.  Forever. 

It’s been 10 days.  It didn’t hurt in the beginning.  It doesn’t hurt now.  If you are looking for me, I’m on Facebook, posting 4x a day at most.  I’m liking and poking to death, so yeah…I’ll have to eventually look at that too, but I have a new set of standards as a woman in a relationship, in love with a man who I want to honor.

John Mayer did it.  Even Miley Cyrus gave up Twitter.  I guess it was also time for @MsV1959 to hang up her hat.