Friday, May 9, 2014

For Eve

I mentioned in the last post that a wonderful woman was starting another battle with cancer. This time cancer won.
We see on the news everyday the hatred people have for each other or the lack of respect there can be between individuals. We see people suffering because of someones else's actions, be they financial, physical or even emotional.
Losing Eve has had a massive impact on so many people and at the funeral there was so much love and respect and tears for the loss of someone so loved, it brought back how human beings can be capable of love. 
It is not something that you can make a potion for, sometimes it isn't even something you can explain but you know it exists. Love, as a word, can be used to describe a cup of tea, a painting, a holiday even a pair of trousers. But Love is more than a description it is a sense, a feeling, a visceral sensation which some people never get the joy of.
People loved Eve because of her way, honest and kind, funny and highly intelligent, a great cook, a superb wife and mother and grand mother, she loved travel and food and exploring and settling down in front of the fire with her husband and shutting out the night.
Why Eve had to pass away I have no idea, why anyone has to go at a predetermined time is anyone's guess.
Eve was a brilliant example of living life, getting up and out even when it all must have been really easy to shut the door and hope everything left her alone.
Partly in that vein but also partly because I've been incredibly lucky in my own story I'm trying to live life as much as possible.
New years day saw me running down Saundersfoot beach, into the sea, with hundreds of other lunatics raising money for various charities. I had tears streaming down my face, not because it was cold but because five years ago I had done the exact same and over the last five years it wasn't always looking like I'd repeat the feat.
Stood in the sea with my amazing nephews and brother in law, was a superb sensation. Cold but adrenalin filled, I felt so alive, so lucky. Running back up to the main road I could see Wendy with tears in her eyes, a mixture of emotions so complex it would be wrong to try and explain. A quick kiss and then I ran barefoot along the main road in my wetsuit, no photos exist, passing cars and laughing to myself. I knew how odd I must look and didn't care, my love of life was too strong to worry about image.
I haven't a clue why or how I got to be so lucky, an amazing wife, two wonderful kids, a bonkers dog and more life to live. Wendy has been encouraging me since Christmas to get fitter for doing a bike ride which I tried last year. Last year I started it, tears streaming down the face again, good job I don't wear mascara, and got two thirds of the way round. This year the goal was to finish it, I have been doing more riding and running, watching what I eat. I gave up alcohol AND chocolate for lent, the first two weeks were really hard but now its weeks since Easter and I have hardly had any of either since.
My fitness is nearly back to the level it was at before I got poorly five years ago, I don't recover as quickly but I think that maybe understandable. I'm lighter than I have been for five years and my head is in such a good place it's wonderful.
I went for a walk the other day with mum and she crossed the stepping stones. It sounds like nothing to some people but to mum it was an event which caused elation. As she stood there on the other side the love of life was plain to see. The risk had been worth it.
So it was for me as I set of on my second Dyfi enduro mountain bike event. A couple of miles of road into the Welsh mountains and then all off road for 45km. I rode down Machynlleth main street, funnily enough with tears in my eyes, with a 1000 other bikers. A feeling of elation coursing through me, tempered with a nagging thought of falling off or breaking something.
The climbs came and went as did the descents, the food station came as it had last year. The clean up wagon waiting there for people who'd had enough, me, last year. This year I had some food and a chat with fellow bikers or marshalls and rode on through.
I finished. Just under six hours after starting. I wasn't last, pretty close but I wasn't, to be honest I'd have been happy finishing last. The goal had be achieved. I tried ringing Wendy but the welsh hills made the phone call wait until I was sat on the grass and sheep poo field clutching my finishers mug and crying. Tears of pure joy. Being alive is bloody brilliant and I love it.
I should have smiled more!
Photo thanks to Dan Wyre Photography.

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