So this week I’ve had a lot of time to think about the people I have ridden for and now I have some more names to add.
About a week ago, I got a call from Tracy Rossetti (@MYBABBO), a SNKCR 2016 rider, who watered the cross-Canada seed in my head and inspired me to apply to be a part of this year’s team. She called to invite me to her family’s fundraising meeting and introduce myself and tell why I’m riding. I had about 30 minutes between the invitation and the introduction to her family, via a phone call. I wanted to impress them with my sincerity and dedication to the cause.
The introduction began with each of the aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws and parents telling me why, for years they’ve been organizing a “ring toss tournament” and raising tens of thousands of dollars. I found out that not only is it to honour Nicholas, a son, a cousin, a grandson, a nephew, who they lost to childhood cancer, but to also remember two other family members, Cassie and Amanda.
Well, to be honest, I felt “my story” paled in comparison. Here I was, meeting the warmest, most cheerful bunch of family, who’d lived with the loss of three family members to cancer, and who were using that loss as a motivator to change the world for others. I was blown away by their dedication, their warmth, and their joy.
That conversation completely and utterly changed my perspective on my own situation. Instead of feeling grief and loss and injustice, I felt a sense of relief to be in the situation I’m in. For two years, I’ve been struggling to find the reason I have all the time in the world to ride my bike. In that phone call, I realized why things have worked out the way they have. I have been given the gift of becoming part of Tracy’s family as a SNKCR rider. I am healthy. My family members are well. I can give my time and energy to this cause and make a difference in someone else’s life. Along with the other names on my bike, I’ll be adding Nick’s, Cassie’s, and Amanda’s. They have become part of my “heart family” now along with Tracy and her relatives. They give me perspective and the drive to open my eyes to the enormous potential we all have to give.