Today Marshall cycled through the long flat plains of Kansas. The roads stretch miles and miles flanked by corn or wheat, creating a quiet landscape, but still an enchanting picture.
We rode beside him for a mile or two to get some good pictures and video. He called out puns about cows as we passed and we struggled to come up with any of our own.
He was still smiling, clearly enjoying the fresh breeze and the flat roads. It was only while we passed the large ranches of cattle that his face changed in reaction to the foul scent. “It wasn’t me!” he said with a smile.
He looked experienced as he pedaled along the gray pavement. His gaze was calm and confident, and his eyes looked straight ahead at his target when he wasn’t punning about steaks.
When we stopped, his pain was more apparent, but he was still joking alongside his young crew. Almost halfway there, saddle sores and tight quads are always a topic when we stop. However, Marshall is tough and confident in his ability to bear the pain.
He is ready to get to the finish, I can tell. Sometimes, you can see the excitement in his gaze. When he is struggling with the climbs or disheartened at the distance left to go, he adopts an almost glassy expression.
He stopped briefly to rest and apply a new layer of sunscreen. Marshall showed us an old rust-covered and well-used knife.
“This is my father’s knife that was given to him when he became a Navy Aviator. He passed away last June.”
He was obviously affected as he unsheathed the knife from a well used leather sheath. He carefully examined it as he was being massaged and sunscreened. His expression was different, as he remembered his father. He was emotional, but not sad or crying. He had a new resolve, almost as if he felt his father’s gaze on him.
He mounted his bike with excitement and a new kind of energy.
We all see things that remind us of lost loved ones or past memories. When we do, old feelings are freshly awakened, and briefly we see and feel things differently. For me, it is this one cookbook, called Taste and See. It was made by a group of women from my old church. It has a bunch of delicious recipes that Mom made often. She was even the author of a few of them. When I see that I am a little saddened, but it also reminds me of good times. Times without stress. Times where brain cancer was never talked or thought about. It was just smiles , laughter, and peace.
3000 Miles to a Cure knows about this longing. Instead of people remembering those times with sadness we want people to look forward to new memories with their family. When brain cancer is cured, there will be less looking back and much more looking forward. When you make a donation, think about the memories you will make with your family in the future and remember that some people can’t look forward to that. Donate here today, for others tomorrow.
Kansas is almost behind you Marshall