Catching up

It has been at least two weeks since I have last posted anything:
In that time, Aunt Mary Lou got married and we couldn’t be happier about the union. She has been alone a long time and I for one couldn’t be more delighted with the man she picked.
Stephen is now 6 ft 4 1/8th inches….The 1/8th is of the utmost importance to him. He insists I add the 1/8th. I find that so funny…..On September 7, he turned 15. All he really wanted for his birthday were shoes that fit. Size 16…..Yes 16. I had so much trouble finding them it took me several trips to several stores and several phone calls. It does not seem stores carry that size around here. Finally I found them at Academy Sports. They had two pairs, one black and one white.


The best part of the weekend was when Ann surprised us all by showing up out of the blue. What a great surprise it was to see her. I have so many warm memories of doing things with her. She always has something wonderful going on and many laughs to share.
She just showed up …….It was perfect. We made the cinnamon rolls from Pioneer Woman’s blog. We laughed; cooked, cried, and had a birthday party …..It was just great! Seeing and spending time with Ann was good medicine for the soul.
The weekend before; Uncle Joe surprised us with a visit. Uncle Joe is my dad’s brother. This was the first time I have really gotten to talk to and spend time with Uncle Joe. Let me tell you, he is a joy! I loved everything about him; the way he talked with his hands and shoulders, the way he walked, they way he told stories. He was such a character and a joy to listen to while he reminisced about the boyhood trails and tribulations of their lives running and working in the streets of South Boston at a ripe old age of 8…..Joe and his “lille bruddr” Billy………Joe loves his little brother.
Uncle Joe reminded me of an Irish boxer…..I hope he comes back again when my father is feeling better and up to talking. Those will be some great stories.
UMMM and that brings me to the big question………….How is he doing? To answer this honestly I really don’t know what to say.
I will tell you this:
My father’s sprit is strong…….So amazingly strong. The thrush is mostly gone now so he is smiling and talking more. By now everyone knows he had received brain radiation about 3 weeks ago………The cancer has metastasized…..and the doctors are saying all type of ugly things we really don’t care to hear. What do they know anyway???…..Four years ago these very doctors gave him 3 months to live……..3 months turned into four wonderful years and we are still counting.
Anyway, the radiation is over. That alone will bring any one to their knees….It was tough…brutal is really more like. But, He did it! He also received another perseverance award from the cancer center and balloons and a home made rhubarb pie from me. ((His favorite))
So now here we are……….It is 3 A.M. and I am wide awake. I am supposed to meet Margaret at 6 to run. I wonder if I will make it.
We have started school and that is a whole different story.
Oh! Speaking of exercising I must tell you………My father is still exercising. He is strength training by just using his body. From what he describes to me he is working on his triceps by pushing himself up and down on the bed. He is doing leg lifts and holds……like 40 or 60! That just thrills me. He is so weak and sick but is still exercising……so being a little tired at 6 AM really sounds babyish doesn’t?
Drats! Now I have to get up! Maybe I just won’t go back to bed.
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Need Inspiration?

There are some days I really just don’t want to workout. I can come up with a million and one excuses of why I can’t or why I shouldn’t; There is always the kids. I like the martial arts and I don’t have a punching bag. I LOVE! the old it is raining excuse. I have to clean the house. School is too hectic………..you get the idea.
But then there are these simple facts; I love the way I feel when everything on my body does not feel fat! I hate! tight clothes. When I have to buy larger clothing I take it really hard……. Exercise gives me energy. I eat better. It is good for my heart, head and my family if I get a workout in.
AND
The biggest fact of all!
My Father! Or sometimes known as my GUILT!
This is the gym my dad has worked out in for decades. It is his gym. It is our gym. It is a room off the side of his house that he has turned into a place of fitness. In this room we could spend time with him; doing sit ups, jumping rope, get on the rowing machine he use to have or simply do an aerobics tape. I remember many nights going out for a run with my dad and then going into this room to have a sit up competition or watch him do his push ups with his toes placed high on a stool he made to get the job done.
See the punching bag?
We had great times in this room.
AND
We still do.

Even though he now has NON smokers lung cancer (found in the late stages in 2005) and he has been getting heavy doses of Chemo treatments for almost 4 years now; He still finds the energy and mental strength to exercise in this room. Some days he does more then most his age. Some days he may not be able to do much at all. Some days he may just do sit ups in bed. There are times he may go out to this gym and try something but he may turn around after 10 minutes or less in exhaustion. BUT! Even though he may not have felt good that day, you can bet sit ups where tried, a little walking may have been done…..or even some type of leg lifts……… something in the form of an exercise was approached.

Even through all this ………..He is always thinking of others. He wants us all to be healthy and even though we can all come up with very good excuses of why we shouldn’t workout and we can all take care of our own needs……..well………mostly. He wants to take away all the obstacles and keep us all healthy.

For his 56 wedding anniversary he bought my mother a treadmill and an exercises bike to go in this room. My mother saw this gift of love for what it really was…………He was saying to her; “Hey, I am going to make it and I want you around with me. So let’s get to work.”

It seems there are no more excuses of why some type of exercise can’t be done by the healthy people around him……..He will often say………..You can only workout early in the morning…….”Come on over. Workout in the gym.”…………You can’t sleep and feel like hitting the bag?……..”Come on over.”……..It’s raining and you want to run?……..”Come on over……..No one will hear you. No one will see you……just come.”

I find it all very loving……….No, because of the cancer, chemo and radiation treatments he is not what he use to be in terms of physical fitness……….I personally don’t even think that matters.

To me ~ He is more of an inspiration these days then ever. If you ask me, he should be the Nike Poster Boy of the decade. He just does it…….. Even if it is not what he wants it be………..He does it.

We should all take a lesson from this.

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He gave me my love for physical fitness.

AND

My mother gave me my love for chocolate cake.

See, there is a balance. I guess that is why the marriage has lasted for 56 years.

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With these thoughts out there……….I really need to get it together and just do it. No more excuses!