I do not know Sherrill. For those who know me I also do not know how to spell. I was worried when I built this flag that the two “ll’s” was a typo. When I got to see her Facebook account, however, I was in the clear. In this case I spell fine, but her parents had issues. Or maybe it was a sense of humor. Or if she grew up here in Western Michigan it was being frugal. There was no way Sherrill could ever buy a key chain or license plate in the gift section of a Stucky’s with her name on it.
As I stated I do not know Sherrill. On top of this she recently was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer that cannot be operated on and chemo is sketchy. I took the chance and started this post with a little humor because her daughter-in-law described Sherrill as, “The life of the party…positive, generous soul…adventurer at heart….glue that keeps the extended family together.” Someone who lives up to this description has got to have a sense of humor.
As I finished this flag on Sunday it was raining and 50 degrees here in Michigan. I was again hauling wood to a coworker and listening to random songs on my iPod. The song Fight Like a Girl by Emilie Autumn came up. Wow what a great song and message for any girl/woman. As I listened to the last verse and thought about Sherrill I added a little moisture of my own to my rain gear.
Good luck Sherrill. Fight like a girl!
I met WildFlower this past January on a trip to Denver. He is part of the programs team at First Descents. (A non-profit organization dedicated to providing young adult cancer survivors with adventure therapy experiences.) It is likely that he had cancer when we met but none of us knew it. No, I do not know his birth name. To everyone in the young adult cancer community he is WildFlower.
When I was in Austin this past October I really thought my “I Ride For” flags were done for the year. I only do them while riding outside and the weather (and my attitude) was poor. I guess God had other plans. The weather got a little better, my vacation plans were changed, and I got two flag requests. This combination got me off he couch and back on the saddle.
My rides for WildFlower were at both ends of my biking extremes. The first was on The Today Bike (my mountain bike) hauling 70lbs of fire wood in Michigan against the wind at 38 degrees. The last one was on The Horse (my ultra reliable touring bike) in Florida at 68 degrees with the last 15 miles at 24 mph.
Although I did not plan it, I thought these rides were a fitting analogy to WildFlower’s fight. One moment he is riding at 24 mph with the wind at his back and the next he is hauling wood and it is about to snow. I’ll keep riding. You keep fighting