Saturday, February 28, 2009

CHLA Chalk Talk

Typing this with my left thumb. Pablo's snuggling with me and laying on the other arm. We're on the ER gurney watchin old tyme 'Popeye' episodes on the flat screen TV that comes free with the room. He's hooked up to a fat bag of fluid drip; our fave industrial strength antibiotic is pumping into his port as well.

Our bed up on 4 West will be ready round 5. Meantime, we're having a good time catching up on the week. Because Jo Ann was holed up sick in our bedroom all week - plus the fact that I get up hella early to ride and have worked late every night this week - we haven't had much time to, like, tawlk. It feels good to exchange stories with Jo Ann.

On the way here, I reminded Pablo that next Saturday is gonna be a big day at CHLA. I pointed out to him that exactly one week to the hour from the time we were cruisin down Sunset we'd be rollin through 4 West with Lance Armstrong! He is coming to LA to visit the cancer kids on 4 West and 4 East at CHLA. Can you believe it? Pablo and I are freeeeekin the funk over this.

After he does his thing with the kids, Lance and I - and 699 other people - are gonna ride down Sunset Boulevard to a theater in Hollywood. He's gonna make a big announcement about Livestrong. Then one of his friends is gonna interview him onstage, and another is gonna play a few songs. The musician friend was a dad at Walther School when Pablo was there.

When I rode this morning in the San Gabriel mountains, I covered part of the same path of last Saturday's Stage 7 of the Tour of California. There were still huge yellow chalk messages scrawled across the road and on the mountain sides. One said 'Ride Strong. Livestrong.' Another said 'Welcome Back Lance. Thank You.'

I don't know what it's like for other people -people who have not lost a brother to cancer and don't have a child in treatment. To me, those words are touchstones - responses+proclamations from real people responding to Lance's bold call to the governments of the world focus on the fight to find a cure for cancer. Cancer: the top cause of death the world over starting in 2010. Cancer: omnipresent in our world. Cancer: so easy to brush aside, to not see, like scary wallpaper.

Yellow chalk on asphalt 20 miles above the City of Angels. Wouldn't it be great if the smart guys from Wall Street and the military could chalk it up and all their money + brain power could be harnessed to find a cure for this damn disease?

Most of all, the chalky mountain road salutations and next Saturday's CHLA ride bring something our family needs right now: hope. To us, Lance Armstrong is a beacon of hope and action. We need heroes and guides in our lives. And L.A.'s our dawg.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post! Pablo is my hero right along with Lance Armstrong! My family and I were up at Millcreek Summit last Saturday. What a blast it was. Complete tailgate party. I got one of those great Livestrong posters of Lance that says "Hope Rides Again." It's a very powerful image of Lance's face up close. He's totally in the zone. I think of Pablo when I look at that picture and I think of how we all have to dig deep in our lives sometimes to find the strenghth to push on through whatever it is we're facing. I lost a very dear girlfriend to breast cancer last January. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of her. She was a young Mom of a nine year old little girl. The best, most loving person I've ever known. Total hippie organic girl that opted for no chemo. I think she thought her organic lifestyle could push her through. It was huge loss for us when we lost her. I hope you guys have a great time next weekend meeting Lance and riding with him. I'm praying for you guys and thinking of that little boy of yours and sending him lots and lots of good thoughts.