Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Fourth of July!
Fourth of July at Sturgeon Falls didn't happen this year for me. I went to Milwaukee to see my nephew Allan who had open heart surgery the week before. Allan, 31, has Becker's Muscular Dystrophy. A condition that affects the heart. Allan was on the transplant list when things got critical. He needed a pump put into his heart to be able to live long enough to get a transplant. People talk about hero's and courage but Allan is the definition of it for me. The week preceding his surgery he had to make the choice of whether to get the pump or not. It amounted to nothing more than a chance to live or go home with hospice. No guarantees on the surgery. The surgery went well until he started bleeding that night. His chest cavity was opened up twice in one day. The amount of selfless courage it took to undergo this surgery is staggering to my mind. He took the chance and hopefully he'll be able to spend a long wonderful life with his wife and children. Here's his Caring Bridge page http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/racer88 I spent Friday with him and even though he looks like he's been through a war he looks good. A hero is judged by how much of yourself you are willing to sacrifice for others. Allan is tops of my hero list!
Saturday morning I spent getting to know a distant relative of mine, Sherie, and her family. I learned how to "float a cow". It was fun being on a working dairy farm again. I fell in love with her Scotty puppy, Sam. Played with Allan's children and hit up the Sheboygan waterfront. Then I took the long way home. I got the call my paddling partners were on the move north...destination Norway MI. I hit the road and found myself within 10 miles of them on the interstate. We stopped in Styles WI for a brief picnic and made it to Pier's Gorge for some evening fun. The crew ended up being Gus, John, Justin, Paul and I. We played down at the bottom before taking Justin up to run the falls...he's a newbie. Whoops! It was kind of rough but he did great! That night we sat around the campfire looking at the gorgeous sight of the moon, one day short of full, reflecting off the river. Fireworks exploding in the distance, A nearby shotgun going off...twice. The night quieted down and one by one we fell victim to the Sandman. Morning came..hiking, biking and sleeping in seemed to be the various choices of our crew. We paddled the river and just enjoyed the day. What a great summer destination! Free camping and pleasant water! It was definitely the long way home late that afternoon but all in all a great weekend! Independence Day..a day to remember that it's honest independent thought that drives freedom and the heart and commitment to follow through.