Monday, October 7, 2013

A Bit of Weekend Fun

I hope today finds everyone well rested and that you had a pleasant weekend. Instead of blogging about writing today, I thought I'd share my weekend.

I've danced around this over the last few months, but I'm just going to come out with it. Last November my dad was diagnosed with ALS, better known as Lou Gherig's. I indicated this had happened to a loved one, but didn't say who. This is the reason I attended a CNA program, as I'll be caring for him with my mom when the time comes. He's been given about five years, though there are no guarantees. Last January, they said only a year of that would be "quality of life." My dad is handling it heroically. The rest of us, not so much.

This past Saturday we attended a walk to raise funds for ALS research and care of those suffering from the disease. All but one of my siblings and my sister-in-law were able to make it, so we had almost the entire family. It was a gorgeous day, albeit chilly, though the delicious Colorado sun warmed us enough to not need coats. My mom has recently had two knee replacement surgeries and isn't completely healed yet, and my dad is waiting on his wheelchair to be ready, so had only a walker with a seat on it (so he could sit and rest as needed).

Everyone was happy, friendly. There was a tribute to those lost to the disease this year, the numbers staggering. There were three different bands performing along the walk, and a singer on the main stage.

We dressed up like superheroes, the theme of the walk being heroes. We stretched it a bit for the kiddos, who were Harry Potter and Hermione, in robes hubby had spent the previous couple days making. Hubby wore his Batman costume, and my sister, her friend, and I wore themed t-shirts. My middle brother, a police officer, hadn't realized we were dressing up, or he could have come in uniform.

Here's my family (missing two brothers, one sister-in-law, and two toddlers), with my dad in the front:

Thanks to hubby's Batman costume (you can't tell how intricate it is from this picture, but we were stopped repeatedly so people could get their pictures taken with him, or have their kids say hello and give him high-fives.) We won best team costumes, even. Woo-hoo!

Here we are at the starting line:

And my dad:

As my dad will be in a wheelchair soon (likely within the next month for part of the time), we've decided that next year we'll all be X-Men, and he will be...guess...Professor Xavier. Except I know he'll never let us shave his head and beard, so he'll be a modified version. I've claimed Phoenix/Jean Gray (since my mom claimed Storm).

Sunday we drove up to the mountains to see the aspens changing color. We tried out a new trail in the Jeep and found some great rocks to climb around on for awhile. We even got a nice family picture with the golden aspens behind us, though a bit of dust on the lens created a white circle over my face that I didn't see until we got home. Ah well. The rest of the family looks good!

This coming Saturday I take the state boards to complete my CNA. This week is cram week, starting today. I'll still be posting Wednesday as usual, and taking part that day in Bullying Awareness. However, I may not reply to comments until after state boards.

A quick note, we're now doing monthly online writing workshops that are absolutely free through Pikes Peak Writers. They are typically the third Tuesday of each month, but this month, as our usual in-person workshop will not be able to be recorded, we're having a bonus one a week beforehand. If you'd like to know more about NaNoWriMo, you can attend this Tuesday, 6:30 PM MT. You can find more information here. There's live chat, and both audio and video of the speaker. I'll be online during it and would love to say hello! You do have to email for me to send you the link to the online venue, though.

So, how was your weekend? Have you been seeing fall foliage? Is it finished, flourishing, or just beginning? 

May you find your Muse.


  1. Sorry to hear about your dad though in the UK I have never heard of his illness. It's always sad to see a parent suffer but what "Fun" you all had to raise money. It's good to see so many people take the trouble to attend these charity functions.

    My week-end I flew to Spain to see my son on his birthday, home tomorrow as it only takes two and a half hours flying time.


  2. I'm sorry Shannon. Hopefully he proves all of the doctors wrong. Sounds like he has the right attitude though.
    Glad most of the family was able to participate in the walk. I think being X-Men next year is an awesome idea.

  3. I'm so sorry Shannon. It knocks the wind out of you to get this kind of news about someone you love. It seems like it never quite leaves your heart and thoughts, like a cloud shadowing everything you do. Prayers of peace and comfort to all of you as you walk this path.

  4. Hang in there! You and your family have awesome attitudes and that will go a long way. Take care!

  5. Such lovely memories made. I am sorry about your Dad, his strength is inspiring as is your determination.

    Prayers and blessings sent your way!

  6. It's wonderful to see your family coming together and being super heroes for your dad. I'm sorry about his disease and timeframe, but glad you'll be there to help him.

    I'm interested in Pike's Peak Writers workshops, so I'll be looking into those. And fall, I'm so happy for it. It's my first fall in years since I was living in S. CA. I'm loving the leaves. They're just starting to turn where I am.

  7. I don't think I have anything I can say. A few years ago, we went through pancreatic cancer with my mother-in-law, so I know what you're in for. It's a hard road with a harder end, and "time to prepare" doesn't help any.

  8. The leaves are lovely around here. My thoughts are with your family. I hope you all make the walk next year too.

  9. Sorry to hear about your father, but it's great to see your family backing him like that - an amazing support. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.
    Now I miss those aspens! They're so beautiful this time of year, but they don't grow over here :(

  10. This does connect a few dots, Shannon. My well wishes and prayers to your dad and your family. Glad you all had a pleasant weekend together. We don't get much color change here in the desert. Enjoy the aspens for me.

  11. So sorry you, your dad and family have to face this disease. You are doing it heroically--very inspiring.

  12. Yvonne, what a lovely weekend! I imagine there is another term in the UK. Well, I hadn't heard of ALS before, but had heard of Lou Gherig's, but he was a baseball player who got the disease quite publicly (because he was actively playing still when he was diagnosed, and the degradation was apparent), which is why I imagine you wouldn't have necessarily heard that term there.

    Alex, I'd love to say the X-Men idea was mine, but it was someone else's. Dagnabbit.

    Julie, spoken like someone who has been there. Thank you for your kind words.

    Madeline, thank you, I hope so.

    Yolanda, thank you for your prayers and blessings!

    Robin, great! It's all at Pikes Peak Writers under the events tab. I'm about to update November, December and January programming, all of which will be available online. And it's all free.

    Andrew, you're right, there's no way to prepare, no matter how hard we might try. Cancer is a nasty thing to go through, as well (I helped care for two of my grandmothers during theirs). I always thought that was the most likely thing I'd have to deal with when my parents got older. Various cancers do run in our family.

    Susan, thank you. I bet we will. My brother missed it because he thought it was like Relay for Life and that the times were at night. Whoops!

    T., I do love aspens! However, I miss fall on the east coast with all those gorgeous colors. We're sort of a one-hit wonder (though a delightful one) here, with the aspens, though we do have different colored trees in suburban areas and such.

    Mary, yeah, I was tired of being vague, but we have a few people we'd rather not know. At this point, though, we can't always be tiptoeing around about it. I can't not post pictures to family because my dad is on a walker or in a wheelchair, you know? And those evergreens are kind of disappointing in the fall, aren't they? We have to drive a ways to find the aspens, as they're mostly in the mountains, but I do love them.

    Jagoda, thank you, that's nice of you to say. :)

  13. Shannon, so sorry about your dad. So glad that almost all of your family was able to participate in the ALS Walk. Your theme for next year sounds great.