This is a tale of true lub..true lub….

4 09 2011
Often Awesome episode 12 ~ The Wedding

“With our dog and our dirty laundry as my witness…will you gay marry me?” – Tim to Kaylan.

“I do not wear the pants in this relationship sir..I do not wear the pants.” Tim.

“He’s just my life. My best friend.  He’s the funniest person I know…” Kaylan

I’m not sure when I started following the Often Awesome series….I can only tell you it was about the time they were 3 episodes in.  I can tell you that when episode 12 was released, I was so endeared to Tim and Kaylan, I was practically cheering and was smitten with them both.  I’ve seen perhaps only a handful of my friends, who have gotten married, really show the rapture that floods Tim and Kaylan.  Its so astonishingly rare and beautiful to witness the love and the honesty with which they step forward and then to have them share it, it is so touching, that it thickens the frame of the story into something you believe in.  The episodes create a depth of connection to them that makes it easy to see them as part of your personal pantheon.

When Tim ‘befriended’ me on facebook, I was honored.  His spirit was always an inclusive and brave one, honest, genuine, and totally at war with ALS.  It was this and so many other aspects of his character that blew up the Often Awesome into the vast army it is today.

When Tim’s ALS had progressed and he needed nurses, care, errands run…I felt a distinct regret that I didn’t live closer, that I hadn’t gone back to school and gotten my nursing degree yet; it frustrated and preoccupied me.  I wanted to help, I wanted to preserve his sarcasm and mischievous glint in his eye.  I wanted to watch movies with him and be able to meet Kaylan and even to watch thier dog sleep and dream at the foot of his bed.  I wanted to meet the rest of the army.  I wanted to make a difference, not only to the war on ALS, but to them directly.

That is how compelling what Tim and Kaylan has done by extending their message and sharing their LOVE and their fight against ALS.  (I capitalized love to emphasize that their story is about LOVE first and als second.)

In posting a new episode each day, I have deliberately not watched the next sequential episode before writing these posts, because I don’t want it to affect the nature of what I write and to wash out my honest responses through premeditated thinking.  So with the resonance of yesterdays post and video, I was thinking very much on the injustice done to Tim and Kaylan with the bureaucracy concerning their desire to get married.  About the injustice of a societal system that extorts us through the medical process and institutionalizes us and polarizes our society.  This is I realize a big statement with a partial thought, but honestly its still being digested.

As I was riding out today, to physical survey the upcoming Iron Horse Challenge route to Dayton/Fairborn’s Walk to Defeat ALS, I found my thoughts shifting under the blistering heat and verdant blush of Ohio’s southwestern farmland.  I watched the land shimmer with life, grasshoppers ricocheting across the trail, hawks taking flight, vultures lifting off with a expanse of dark wings that made the width of the trail shrink in their shadow.  I gazed over the ripening corn, soy, beans, and sunflowers and thought as I often do about my mother and her love of Ohio.  I often wonder what she would think about the sights I see rolling past me as I ride my bike across the state, of the views I witness when I see the changing seasons, from the unusual perspective of traveling at 17 miles an hour.  I suppose I look out and think of her and attempt to witness for her these sights, as I would have were she still alive and I was in a position to share them with her, plopping down on the couch beside her.

I will never know all of what she saw. What parts of this state were known to her or surprised or thrilled her.  Of the haunting and thought provoking images and places; the ones she would want to revisit and the way it would transform her understanding.  I will lose a bit of history from that lack of knowing.  I regret not having known more about her perspective in this.

In those thoughts its easy for me to also consider how much my parents shared and how much they didn’t or couldn’t have.  My father always considers my mother the record keeper – not trusting his own memory process.  In a way we look to each other and my sister and compile memories in hopes of discovering views she shared with one of us and perhaps not the others.  A memory that would give us something of her back, a piece of the puzzle that is in turn a piece of ourselves.  I wonder sometimes when I ride, how much I instinctively see, being her child, that is akin to her views.  When those moments overlap, I imagine I am sharing that view with her.  I love those moments and can feel her living within me.

So today on the ride, I shared the journey also with the thought of what to do about naming this leg of the IHC with a title that would honor the message of Tim and Kaylan and would make it stronger for their inspiration; that would be equivelent to the gift that they have given me with their story.  I recently posed a similar question more directly to Robert Blais, Jon Blais’s father, asking him how I could best honor his son and Jon’s heroic efforts…as I wanted to also grant the longest leg of the IHC, the route from Columbus to Cincinnati – 127 miles of almost 90% Rails to Trails, with a name that would remember him.  Robert suggested a few and I found myself being most amused by the ‘Blazeman Express’ – its drawing on train lingo was making me giggle in the 100 degree heat.

So around mile 37 I realized that perhaps each of the legs of the IHC should be dubbed with a train-like reference and made a decision:

“All Aboard, this train is about to depart…please make sure that your saddle bags are secure, that your water bottles are full, and your helmet is fastened…this journey will stop as needed..but will not end until a cure is found…this line from Columbus to Dayton/Fairborn…on Rail to Trail O2E..shall depart…

Welcome aboard the “Often Awesome Express”…we hope you enjoy the ride!

love never ends(when I saw this, I thought what a perfect fit for Tim & Kaylan)




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