Hello ToothontheLoose readers!
It’s been a while.
Since my last post (written- yikes- over four years ago), I have told myself over and over again that I was going to start the blog back up. I have mentioned this to family, friends, coworkers, and even complete strangers so many times that I can almost foresee the inevitable eye roll. “I’m going to write about our trip to Africa.” “I’m going to post a day-to-day blog of my epic train trip!” “I’m taking all these awesome photos of this bike path for my website.” But nothing happened. I also realized that the design of this site is not the most user-friendly. In January 2014, I had started from scratch with zero website experience and limited time, and I needed something basic enough to post and edit on an iPad Mini from the middle of Central America (or wherever I happened to be at the time). More recently, I had the idea to completely revamp the site to make it more searchable and readable… overlooking that I don’t quite know how to do that yet and have forgotten almost everything I have learned about blogging! So, once again making perfect the enemy of good, I did nothing.
My mother was always doing something. Whether it was reading or translating poems and song lyrics from Slovenian to English or creating gift baskets for fundraisers or planning an overseas trip, she was a flurry of activity. (She also took hearty naps in between). She thrived on projects, often completing them at the last minute (which she probably wouldn’t have had any other way). I can still remember our old house in Euclid: as a child, I would lie in bed at night seeing a sliver of light on my wall coming from Mom’s sewing room down the hall and hearing the hum of her sewing machine into the late hours.
For those of you who might not have known, my mother died in February of pancreatic cancer. She had only been diagnosed last August but had decided against chemotherapy due to the cancer’s late stage. Despite her diagnosis, she still managed to squeeze in every last bit of joyful activity that she could.
I miss my mother every day. After her passing, though, I felt a surge of inspiration. Ann Zakelj was not one to sit around. She would be up and running. (Or walking briskly, rather. I can just picture her grimace if I were to suggest that she go for a run). In her memory, I made a list of three goals for this year:
- To resume my blog. Mom was my initial subscriber and biggest supporter. She commented on almost every post and shared my stories and photos on her Facebook page. Sometimes I go back and read what she wrote to me, and it’s like being able to talk to her again.
- To complete a century ride (100 miles) by bike. I’ve been wanting to do this for several years but have had trouble committing to it.
- To raise money for the Hospice of the Western Reserve, who gave the utmost care and support while Mom was living her last days at home.
And here we are! Next Saturday, I will be biking 100 miles solo (though several friends and family members might join me for the later segments) from Sandusky to Fairport Harbor, Ohio as a fundraiser for Hospice in my mother’s memory. I am trained and ready. I also started a GoFundMe page last week, and it is smoking! I am flabbergasted at the generosity of so many people, and I still have a week to go. If you are interested in checking out the page, you can do so at GoFundMe: 100 Miles for Ana.
Please feel free to share this blog post and/or this GoFundMe link!
Pray for good weather, safe roads, and sufficiently padded bike shorts! I hope to post my results and photos here when the ride is over.
It’s good to be back. This one’s for you, Mom :).