Do you ever wake up feeling so grateful that everything actually turned out as planned, and that for a little while, all is right with the world? I have been a tad PTSD-ish for the last ten days or so in anticipation of the bike race- the Kluane to Chilkat International Bike Relay- that Chip and I have been training for since March or so-- riding 30 miles just about every morning and longer on the weekends. It's just the last time we rode the 150 miles or so from Haines Junction to Haines as a two person team we didn't get past Kathleen Lake and instead spent the race night in Harborview Medical Center with Chip's broken pelvis, and it was the same emergency room we were medevaced to when mine was broken in another cycling accident. I was afraid to even whisper 'lightening can't strike three times' in case, well, it did.
We finished unscathed, in good time, and had fun. We even managed to medal, as the 2nd place mixed two-person team in 7:40 something, which is pretty good for grandparents.
The best part was all the friends and volunteers from Haines who cheered for us, and the Chamber of Commerce who bought a new finish line banner that said "fabulous you!", and Ralph and his Borough public works crew who filled the pot holes on the last hill, stenciled cycles on the finish stretch, and even closed the dangerous cross road where I was run over, so I didn't have to worry even a little bit, and the salmon barbecue at the Fair afterward was perfect too-- the sun, heat, and breeze, the tender king salmon, the fresh salads, the local bands, all the happy people ( Thousands. Really. The whole town was invited and looked to be there, and most, if not all of the 1200 bike racers came, too), and not a line or a lack of anything to eat or drink at all-- It was all like a good midsummer day's dream. Haines shined on all fronts.
We also just came off a week of family gatherings with all five grandchildren, and four out of our five kids in town-- the two Haines daughters and two Juneau girls. (My dear son is still surfing in Western Australia...) I love my adult children more I think, now that I'm not responsible for them. I am also so grateful that everyone is healthy. (Gratitude really does come from the place that understands it could be otherwise.)
Also, in that weird way that the internet connects us all-- the terrible news from Orlando was tempered by the stories of citizen angels protecting funeral goers and mourners from those terrible protesters affiliated with that awful so-called church, by wearing angel costumes with giant, sheet-like wings to screen the families and friends from the hate, and shelter them with love while singing Amazing Grace.
Yes, terrible, unspeakable things can happen, but as Mr. Rodger's mother told him-- 'Look for the helpers, you will always see people helping'.
I do believe in angels and not just because I saw them in the news. I've met them at Harborview, in delivery rooms, in classrooms, in the Haines ambulance, riding my bike, walking the dog, and hanging out at the all- town fishermen's barbecue in sunny June. I know for sure that there are angels among us. And for that, I am so very grateful.