“WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS…” BEATLES 1967

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Y’all, this is my 100th blog! WOOHOO! Or maybe I should say WAHOO since UVA is the only ACC team heading to the final four. My bracket is busted (totally) and my Heels are out. Plans arranged around the basketball schedule are over. But it was a great season. Felt like I knew these kids who appeared in my living room about twice a week for the last 5 months. I always get attached to special players, who make all Carolina fans Tar Heel proud, and this year was no exception. Sad for our seniors, whose college basketball careers ended, and not in the way they (nor our fans) hoped. What great role models these kids have been for the last 4 years. Now on to UNC Baseball!

“There will be disappointments in life. It’s ok to feel sad, just don’t wallow for longer than necessary.”

I watched that final game in Charlotte, NC, at a bar with other Tar Heels, who shared my disappointment. However, I did not have much time to wallow in my disappointment, or even whine a bit, because very quickly my attention was diverted to the reason I was in Charlotte – to run (or walk) the GET YOUR REAR IN GEAR 5K (supporting Colon Cancer screening). March is Colon Cancer Awareness month. For my younger daughter and her friends, this hit home for them recently as one of their “inner circle” is courageously battling this disease. My daughter and I, along with 60+ of her friends and their family members were all part of a team in his honor. Our team name? Dash for the Stache (he is known for his mustache!). Proudly telling you that my daughter came up with the team name and designed the hats we wore.

“Anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.” Misty Copeland

The weather in Charlotte could not have been any better all weekend, especially Saturday – race day – sunny and 77. (Snowed in Charlotte yesterday, just saying!) We gathered together at the start line and took off, some running, some walking, some running and pushing strollers. I was walking. Just when I thought I was back to running, a new MRI said nope. Kinda wanted to wallow over that (actually did, honestly). I mean, is there time limit for wallowing? Yeah, I didn’t think so either. My doctor reassured me that I will be back out there running, just not this month. Or next. So it’s just walking for now.

Funny, first time I have ever walked a race, and it was actually fun! No pressure. Route wound through a beautiful neighborhood with supporters along the way. We all wanted to do something to show this family we are there for them, as evidenced by all the support and love shared by this amazing group of friends. They talked, laughed, joked around, and truly enjoying being all together. And I had fun with the “older set” (parents, aunts, uncles). Special people. Needless to say, the majority of these people’s brackets are still intact (they are all UVA fans!) and they were ecstatic with UVA’s nail biting win Saturday night!

“True friendship takes us by the hand and reminds us we are not alone in the journey.”

Many times we do not know what to do for someone who is hurting or struggling. We just want to see them happy again. I am still learning to just listen and not try to “fix” the situation. The Southern solution is food… if you don’t know what to do, take a cake, pie, or dinner. And wine. Three years ago I had a lot of support in so many ways, great listeners, shoulders to cry on, several cheerleaders, and family and friends who brought food and wine, and just sat with me.

“Friends are medicine for a wounded heart and vitamins for a hopeful soul.” Steve Maraboli

How do we get through the dark and tough times in life? We all experience them at some point. Faith and prayer come to mind first. The love and support of our family and friends is paramount. Sometimes we need someone to just listen, to be there, not to fix anything, but to just let us know we are cared for. Sometimes we need a shoulder to cry on and someone to hold our hand. Sometimes we need an all enveloping, comforting hug. Sometimes we need a cheerleader, to keep our spirits up, and restore our confidence. Sometimes we need someone to reassure us everything will be ok. That is what I needed from my doctor – to reassure me I will be able to run again. And to let me wallow a bit. Sometimes we just need to be alone, but know there are those who have our back. And sometimes we need help. We should never be afraid to ask for that help. Nor should we hesitate to give that help, that shoulder, that hug, that encouragement. For we are all in this together, and together we form a strong bond against whatever adversity life thrusts in our path.

Never miss an opportunity to be there for someone whose path in life has taken a turn for the worse. Let them know they are strong, loved, and needed, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends…gonna try with a little help from my friends…” Beatles 1967

Best,

Leslie

PS:  Did you know that:

  • colorectal cancer is the 3rd most commonly diagnosed cancer?
  • 2019 will see 101,420 new cases of colon cancer and 44,180 new cases of rectal cancer?
  • Incidence rates are increasing for young adults (age 24-34 years old) and declining for those 50+ years of age.
  • Get your rear in gear and get scoped y’all. Don’t put it off.

 

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