Sunday, January 30, 2011

Team Western Wisconsin trains indoors, and a Triabetes Captain gets a cover!

On to positive mojo, peeps. Today I spent the afternoon doing some indoor cycling at Speed Cycling -owned by Petra Kilian-Gehring, a JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes participant herself. We've decided to keep the team rolling in the off season here in Wisconsin. It is so fun to see everyone all season long and keep the love going.

Michelle Reddington has stepped up by leading our classes and when I heard her yell into her microphone, "ALSWAGER! You should be breathing too heavy to be TALKING!" I couldn't help but grin and remember a different group I once rode with indoors to train for past years. How I miss riding with Vaughn Vance! Luckily there are new riders who are just as willing as Vaughn to get in trouble with me during class!

We are really looking forward to doing our 100 mile ride in La Crosse, Wisconsin this year and I'm excited to know a lot of my past rider-friends will be joining us (Welcome back Kansas City Smack Train!).

And in other news, congrats to Triabetes Captain, Tiffany Heindel who is currently sporting the cover of Ohio Sports & Fitness! I can't help but grin when I see Triabetes continuing to shine....

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Six have died - the rest of you keep living please

As 2/3 - the anniversary of Jesse's death - creeps up on me it forces me to try to make sense of things. I wonder sometimes if all the news I hear of deaths in the diabetes community are just escalating because I'm sensitive to the deaths, because facebook brings us all together, or if in fact there are more deaths.

Last night was a hard night for me. I have been struggling with how I will deal with Jesse's death on the actual anniversary. I had made the decision to stay positive and not think of death, or replay the day.

Last night, I learned of three more deaths in the diabetes world. All young. In fact, one was a 16 year old boy named Jesse. Horrible for me. Horrible for them. As I woke in the morning I learned of 3 more. All under the age of 28 (one was an 18 month old who's diagnosis was missed).

I wanted to take a moment to say to you all that are living with diabetes - please do not take my posts as a means to make you sad or scared. No, I repost and talk of these deaths so these families can find me. Because the best counseling I could get was from families who lost before me. I hope to be there for these new families and they transition to this new group that once again, no one wants to be part of.

So for those of you living with "d", live it large. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

a year of thanks

Thank you to Amy Eager for showing up at my house at 8:30 am on 2/4.

Thank you to Jen Engel for pants.

Thank you to MyMenu for a freezer full of food.

Thank you to Sarah Faust for m&ms, maps of Spain and other things that were so abnormal during grief, it became a relief to receive them.

Thank you to Sean, Sam and Karly for delivering the best eulogies a mom could ask for.

Thank you to every tv and radio station in this town who put aside all political stuff and ALL covered event related to Jesse because in their hearts, they knew the reason was worth it.

Thank you to Econoprint who transformed Mark Gray's caricature of Jesse in to Jessepalooza brand I will be proud to use for all the years to come.

Thanks to Tom Karlya for pulling me into the Diabetes Research Institute and keeping me motivated to do something bigger.

Thank you to my kids for being so damn strong.

Thank you to Charles for getting up that painful day and setting up the memorial fund and having the mental capacity when I didn't.

Thanks to Bob Gorsuch for allowing my family to grieve rather than worrying about how we would pay for a funeral.

Thanks to everyone who came to the Lazy Oaf to help with the memorial fund.

Thanks to the most wonderful six people - Derek, Kye, Paul, Aaron, Andrew and Bob who had the responsibility as pall bearers.

Thanks to all of the 13 year olds who continue to friend me on facebook and allow me a window into Jesse's life as a teen.

Thanks to all my coworkers who tried not to flinch when I was crying in my office trying to get through those early days.

Thanks to all my friends who got on bicycles and rode in Jesse's honor in Death Valley.

Thanks to those at the helm who made 23 a mile of silence for this year and the years to come.

Thanks to Joe Brady for creating a meaningful slideshow and for giving me Jesse's used test strips during my Oscar Drama Moment one mile from the top of Jubilee Pass.

Thanks to Sean Busby for happening to be standing at the Jubilee Pass sign when it was time to put Jesse's test strips down those rusty metal posts and us knowing it will always be there.

Thanks to all at JDRF who had the balls to put politics aside and support me.

Thanks to all of you who keep me motivated to complete my book on this experience.

Thanks to Laura Kuhl who tells me that Jesse misses peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Thank you to anyone who has not expected me to be "normal" because "enough time has gone by" when it hasn't been enough time gone by.

Thank you to the Ohms for helping me understand that time does not erase a person's face, smile and sounds.

Thank you to my old grade school and high school friends who have taken the time to travel to Madison more than once just to make sure I remember how to have fun.

Thank you to John Moore, Anne Findly and Gabby Cezar for being here when I wasn't expecting it.

Thanks to Terese Berceau and the rest of the Wisconsin Assembly for honoring Jesse and I as hometown heroes.

Thanks to Paul and Kye for vowing to always be Joey's big brothers for Jesse.

Thanks to Bill Bathke who's hug meant a lot before he lost his own life this year.

Thanks to my entire ride group for allowing Jesse to be a major part of why we ride even though I know you ride for very personal reasons of your own.

Thanks to national ride coach Tim St Clair for being a big mushy goo when it comes to talking to me.

Thank you to Sara Rankin for opening up about her own son's death to help me through those first days.

Thanks to Jen and Bob for allowing me to call them when it's 2 am and I need someone who gets it, and understands why the ornament aisle hurts like hell.

Thanks to John Flint who said, "Dude, I really don't want to be the guy you write about in your book about the people who say dumb things to you." :)

Thanks to the Judd/Blanchard family for turning the support I had for the loss of their family into helping my family through ours.

Thank you to Jesse for teaching me that I cannot expect someone to be capable of something they are incapable of. (Keeping my anger in check)

Clearly I have forgotten to mention to those I thank you as well. Through it all there have been disappointments, life is full of them after all. But the biggest thank you goes to all of you for never expecting a thank you and for THAT, I thank you.