Here is what I know about Kerri. She and her husband just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. She has 5 kids. There is either a Grandkid on the way or she is already a Grandma. While she grew up in Holland, MI and graduated 2 years behind me, she now lives in Omaha, NE. And Kerri is battling breast cancer RIGHT NOW!
As I road with Kerri’s flag I tried over and over again to remember her from high school. I am embarrassed to write that I was too self centered then (don’t know if I’m much better now) to connect any of the dots. I looked Kerri up on Facebook (where I got the information above) to be able to look at some pictures. While I do recognize a few of her friends, pictures of her now still left me blank.
I almost abandoned this flag because I did not want to admit that I could not remember Kerri. Then I was reminded of my most valuable care giving lesson (I seem to have to learn this one over and over again.) DONT THINK – JUST DO IT. It is so easy for me to rationalize why I should not go the hospital, and once I get there why I should not get on the elevator. “They don’t want to see me.” “What am I going to say?” “I’m just going to make them uncomfortable.” “They would be more peaceful if I just stay home.” I know this is all crap, yet I still find myself convincing Jeff Mulder to not do something that might be meaningful.
So here it is Kerri. I am sorry that I do not remember you from West Ottawa. (Hopefully you don’t remember me either.) Our fellow Panther Rameen alerted me to your fight. While Lake Michigan is very cold this summer, the bicycling here is fantastic. For just under 200 miles I road with your flag behind me. I thought about your family, your fight, and what I would write. My hope is that you will ignore the fact that I’m generally selfish, and know that for a couple weeks in your home town a “stranger” road and prayed for you.
PS I even spelled your name wrong on the flag! My excuse – I started riding “with you” before I looked you up on Facebook. There is just no way to turn an “a” into an “e”. At a minimum this will give you something to talk about at your next class reunion. “Remember Jeff Mulder? He could not spell when he was 17 and still cannot spell at 47.” Sorry