The official start of our Coast to Coast Journey began today in White Rock. For me many thoughts of cottage volleyball, Xmas past, thanksgiving at the farm and of course my cousin Karen. The reason I am taking on this challenge so that no other family will endure the heart ache of my cousins Ray, Cathy and their parents Uncle Bruce and Auntie Anne. I am the youngest by far and as such did not realize the true nature of what the family endured. You see Karen was 8 years older than I and as such when diagnosed at 7 I was not yet a sparkle in my parent’s eyes. It was not until tour for kids an event Kelly and I have participated in for the last decade that I truly began to understand what they must have gone through. I knew then that the day would come that I would participate in the National Kids Cancer Ride and dedicate the event in my Cousins honor. I was raised by my mother and 3 older sisters but in the summers Karen would stay with us in the city to work. She was my replacement sister while the others were off on their own adventures. To this day I still remember her insisting I join her and do the 20 minute work out. How embarrassing for a teenage boy! but now such a fond memory now.
Today we picked out several rocks in her honor. 3 to be carried across the country. One for me, one for her sister Cathy and a third to be sent back into the ocean at the finish. A 4th was tossed into the ocean here in the shape of a heart to represent her undeniable good nature and to let her know we miss her and love her dearly and that she touched so many hearts along the way.
New amazing tradition was born today, we took rocks, wrote a note on them and left them on the beach in White Rock as a lasting memory for hopefully someone to find. I felt one for my brother-in-law Charlie and one for our Pal, Paul Harbaruk. I love this new tradition, hopefully someone will read our messages and it will speak to them.