Rolf and I enjoyed a gorgeous Saturday up in San Luis Obispo this weekend to watch Wilson compete in this year’s Ranger Challenge. He has been a member of his ROTC battalion’s Ranger team every year since he was a freshman and it was a real treat to finally see him and his teammates in action. We did, however, stick out like sore thumbs since these are not typically spectator events buuuut…..we didn’t care! Ha Ha
Each competition course is different but all consist of several timed stations that require the team to complete a task. Yesterday’s stations were spaced along a 12 mile course that the participants marched with their 40lb rucksacks! After 6 1/2 hours of continuous competition and ruck marching, the cadets had to complete an obstacle course that included the following…
It was an impressive effort by all the cadets and Rolf and I were in awe of their determination and grit. When all was said and done the Cal Poly SLO team had home base advantage and won the competition but Wilson’s team came in 2nd place! Woo Hoo
The base we were on had a display of antique helicopters, army airplanes and trucks. Rolf and I couldn’t help but think of Rudy the entire time we were there…he would have LOVED this outing…no crowds, lots of cool vehicles to explore & room to roam and, best of all, seeing Wilson!!
He is never far from our thoughts in all that we do, that’s for sure.
Olivia temporarily set aside her XC running shoes this past weekend and pulled out the lacrosse equipment for an off season tournament here in SB. We enjoyed extended time out on Santa Barbara’s beautiful polo fields and the event was made even sweeter by a spontaneous visit from big bro Wilson and family friend Johanna.
We’ve had a lot going on this month…big milestones, big events, fun day trips, lots of visitors and special outings. It’s been a wonderful month with family and friends as well as a difficult month with many tears and an increasing battle with depression. Part of me wants to fill every minute of every day to completely distract myself from the heaviness of it all but I’m also finding that if I don’t carve out the space and take the time to gather my thoughts, I get anxious which only adds to the feelings of depression. Balance on many levels remains key to coping with and managing this journey.
I so appreciate the opportunity that today’s technology offers me to process life in a blog that can be shared so effortlessly with family and friends. What started out over a decade ago as an effort to keep folks informed about detailed medical information regarding Rudy ended up turning into a precious family journal over the years and morphed again this last year into a personal record of life and loss. I may not be in a season where I feel the freedom to invite people to much as it has such an emphasis on the future, but I do feel the freedom to invite people in and that is profoundly important to me right now as it allows for a connection with others and is often a catalyst for meaningful conversations at a time when I feel increasingly isolated. I guess you could say the blog is an “evite” for others to share in a life experience that is painful and threatening but also rich and rewarding. 😉 Your willingness to continually “accept” my invitation blesses me deeply and I thank you!
On the medical front, the increased weakness in my right foot warranted me getting a brace to match the one I’ve been wearing on my left leg. I questioned why it was even necessary to get the additional brace if my mobility becomes increasingly limited and I can’t walk anyway, but both the Dr. and Nobbe confirmed the braces will be necessary for transferring from one surface to another in the future so now I look like Rudy. 🙂 What a strange, surreal, somewhat familiar path this is…
I can’t believe October is winding down…next week is Halloween and another SBRM graduation!! Wow! Time is flying staggeringly fast and I’m finding that a little unsettling but Autumn is a favorite season of mine so I guess I should embrace it. Fall Blessings to you and yours.
The past couple of weeks have been fuller than normal for us in recent months and I’m paying for it now but it’s soooo worth it! My limitations continue to be an adjustment for us all but we’re figuring it out, finding a sweet rhythm and learning to pace ourselves. I’m grateful for the support of family and friends that help make the life we attempt to do possible. Although I’m not as independent with the wheelchair as I hoped I’d be, I do enjoy outings more with it and am so grateful for the fun it allowed me to have this past week especially…
On Wednesday, our local Fellowship of Christian Athlete clubs participated in an annual city-wide outreach and, as a member of the student leadership team, Olivia shared part of her story. Olivia does not typically share personal things publicly so the significance of her willingness to share was not lost on me and Rolf leading up to Wednesday…how very grateful I am that she chose to put herself out there…for her own heart health as well as those who got to hear her share. Her story impacted me deeply and taught me something new. Thank you Livy Jo.
Rolf and I drove down to San Diego on Thursday to watch Max perform on campus at a gathering called Musoffee (music and coffee)…
It was so much fun watching him have a blast doing something he loves to do…
It’s been a while since I fell and actually hurt myself but I took a tumble on Thursday when my knee buckled on the way to the bathroom and I sprained my ankle. Thankfully, it’s my bad leg this time so it’s not that debilitating…just painful. Arrrgh!
As it turns out, my spill is a bit symbolic because it happened minutes after Olivia successfully passed her driver’s test and became an independent, licensed driver! Woo Hoo! Way to go Olivia!!! I have been praying in recent months that I’d be able to physically drive until Olivia got her license…and God answered my prayer! Praise Him! However, now that Livy is able to drive herself to all her fun activities and because my reaction time in my weakening right foot is getting slower it’s time for me to voluntarily give up driving. It’s not like I was driving a ton other than to take Olivia to school each morning anyway but it’s a tough reality to go from “choosing” not to drive to not being able to do so safely. 😦 So, significant milestones continue to be marked in the Geyling household…marked with a tinge of heartbreak but mostly gratitude and relief for answered prayers!
Today is October 1, 2018. Today would have been Rudy’s 10th Birthday. Double digits!!! How proud Rudy would be!
My head hurts. Today is harder than last year…I think I was in shock last year, distracted by so many other things going on and numb on some levels. Today I’m feeling grief that is deep and specific to Rudy alone. His presence is profoundly missed as Rolf captured in his reflection for today…
On Rudy’s 10th Birthday:
The collection of broken remotes hasn’t grown since you left, Yet I’m acutely aware of how many potential additions now lie readily within your grasp— Down low on the couch,
Right there on the end table.
My full coffee cup sits in the danger zone, Precariously next to me on the couch cushion, My free hand always at the ready should you pounce. But there’s little chance of that.
You would be too tempted by how easily the DVD cabinets could be opened and emptied, We only recently realized there’s no need to keep the doors tied shut.
Or the lure of the open front door might prove irresistible Provided you still remember that too much giddiness leads to detection. If you could suppress the urge to squeal or call out “See ya!” Who knows what adventure might await?
How I long for a few moments of panic, Outing my parenting gaffe to the neighbors as I call out in search of you. I’d happily make sense of all the books dumped out in front of the bookcase, Trying to figure out where to tape in all the torn-out pages. Lots of time for that since there’s no Hot Wheels clogging the tub drain.
I miss your happy chaos.
Rolf, Olivia, Oma and I will celebrate our boy later today with a trip to Kyle’s Kitchen and a special dessert (hopefully Oma’s chocolate roll cake!!!). I wish the big boys could join us but we’re all close in thought, for sure.
Looking at all the pictures on this day ten years ago, I’m reminded of how uncertain everything was…there was real concern that Rudy wouldn’t survive his birth or his first surgery or his harrowing recovery…there were so, so many wrenching twists and turns in the very beginning. Honestly, it’s hard to look back in retrospect, to see it all in it’s entirety and comprehend how it was even survivable for any of us. We may not be celebrating 10 years with our boy today but we do stop and celebrate the 8 1/2 years that were his life…a life that was rich and impactful and truly happy despite all of the challenges. Happy Day of your Birth Rudy! ‘Forever grateful for you…forever in love with you…forever changed by you.