Saturday, September 24, 2011

Stepping Out

This morning I achieved one of the main goals I had at the beginning of summer.  I planned to be healed enough from knee replacement to walk today with my niece, Kelli,  in honor of her husband, Adam, who died  a little over two years ago from a diabetic seizure.  He was 30 years old, and his unexpected and tragic death hit the entire family pretty hard.  We all adored Adam, as he loved Kelli with a passion that is rarely witnessed in "kids" these days.  They were a darling couple, who sadly had only 5 years of marriage, after several years of being best friends.  Adam was close to our hearts today as we walked in his honor, and gathered pledges and donations to aid further research to help others with diabetes.

I picked up my sister, Pam, a little after 7:30 and we drove to Battle Ground for the walk.  There was a pretty good crowd and our little group, "Adam's Wolf Pack", enjoyed visiting with each other and got our team photo taken just before the walk began.  (I've attempted to copy and paste it from Kelli's Facebook photos, but I can't manage it. ) I had been given permission to walk one mile from my physical therapist and my surgeon, and I warned Pam I would be slow.  But,  she was willing to "step out" with me, and it wasn't long before we were bringing up the rear of the crowd!  Kelli walked the first half with us, but when we turned around to head back to the starting line, she continued on for the rest of the walk. (She finished the  2 1/2 mile route about the time we were pulling out of the parking area!)

There were a million other things I could have been doing this morning.  I have my usual roller cart of school stuff to deal with.  Our semi annual infestation of tiny ants welcomed me yesterday morning when I got up, and after scouring all the counters in the kitchen, and putting out ant poison (sorry to any who think ill of me to kill creatures, but ants in my house I refuse to live with!) I still have to return stuff to the counters, and do some rearranging.

I thought about my post last Saturday, about doing the next thing, and knew that the walk this morning was my next thing. One of the organizers of the walk thanked everyone for choosing to spend their time helping to support diabetes research, and his talk reminded me of the "doing the next thing" concept.  Each moment we have is finite and non-returnable.  We can't take them back.  We make choices all day long on how we will use the moments we have before us.  It was right that I "Stepped Out for Diabetes" today, not only in memory of Adam, but in support of so many folks who live with the uncertainty of diabetes each day.

It was a slow walk, just as my recovery has been slow (to me!).  Because we stood around for over an hour before the walk started, I was already feeling fatigued when the walk began.  Before we arrived at the half mile turning point, I was ready to be done.  But, I kept my eyes on the finish line (when it came into view) and just kept putting one foot in front of the other.  Pam asked me several times if I was ok, (I guess I was slowing down!) and I told her I was.  Because I was.  My eyes filled with tears, not because I was tired, but because I was able to walk, and I was alive, and I probably would not have thought to participate in this walk prior to Adam's death.  And I was glad I had asked co-workers, neighbors and friends to support this cause, and grateful that I was able to be present today, to "Step Out for Diabetes". It was the right "next thing" for me to do.


  1. Well done, Sandi for having not only participated in suhba worthy cause but also for having conquered your own personal challenge. I hope those unwelcome ants have got the message to find alternate accommodation.

  2. Such a worthy cause...I am lying in bed using my iPad.

  3. Yeah Sandi! Keep up the great work, you are inspiring to me. :)

  4. You had me in tears Sandi first about Kelli and Adam and then your triumphant walk!! I am so happy for you, you did it.
    The story of Adam and Kelli just brings home how short life is. Bless her heart.
    Oh and about the ants, I get the same problem in the spring, UGGG!! I use spray a few times and then put traps all along my counter. That usually does the trick. Good Luck! Love Di ♥

  5. Dear Sandi, Today, I'm rereading a well-thumbed book of the poetry of Robert Frost, and I came to the poem "Birches."

    Many years ago, in college, I memorized the last few lines of the poem and today as I read your posting I realized that you could be the person about whom he wrote this poem. Here are the last few lines:
    "Earth's the right place for love:
    I don't know where it's likely to go better.
    I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
    And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
    Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
    But dipped its top and set me down again.
    That would be good both going and coming back.
    One could do worse than be a swinger of birches."

    I think, Sandi, that you are a "swinger of birches."


  6. Good for you! I'm so inspired by your spirit and heart, my friend.

  7. Well, you sure made me tear up when I read this one, Sandi. You are indeed doing the best "next thing" and the fact that you walked an ENTIRE MILE on your new knee is next to amazing. I sure hope you're resting it now. I think you are an inspiration to many and I'm proud to call you a friend.

  8. When you look back to the beginning of your recovery I bet you never would have thought this was possible..and now look at you! Way to go and for such a good cause. Diabetes is a horrible disease that does such damage. I see it everyday in surgery. So keep celebrating all your "next things"...I'll look forward to reading about them!

  9. Congratulations on both your participation and achievement Sandi. Tragic about a very dear young man, but how proud he would be of everyone's efforts. Your contribution was wonderful when you consider how very far you have come with pain and challenges, not just physical but emotional too. Throw in the challenge of teaching and what you've achieved lately is amazing!

  10. Sandi, this is phenomenal...good for you. How full your heart must be knowing that you accomplished this goal and helped others while doing it.

  11. I am certain that Kelli appreciated your efforts in honor of her husband. I, too was in tears as I read this and love the solidarity of "Adam's Wolf Pack." Pleased to know your recovery is moving along.


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