So. It’s Been Kind Of A Long Summer

As I write this, I’m some 36,000 feet over Kansas, heading into Colorado. I’m on my way to San Francisco, a waypoint on my voyage to Sydney. While there, I’ll be presenting at my employer’s security conference on a variety of topics, as well as meeting with clients. After a week – mostly work, although I’ve managed to coordinate my schedule so I can spend the weekend in Sydney – I’ll head to Mumbai, via a very brief stop in Singapore. Once there, I’ll do it all again, then continue on to Newark, then back home. A trip around the world. It’s actually my second, and had you asked me as a child if I’d ever do such a thing, I couldn’t have conceived of it. Times change. The world gets smaller.
Some things don’t change.
It’s been a long, mostly hard, Summer. After the Cherry Blossom, I took a bit of a break from running. Partly to rest, and partly to regroup. Training for my Summer and Fall races seemed destined to suffer. The demands of work increased, making it harder to find time to run. I visited my father in late April to celebrate his 80th birthday. It was to be the last time I saw him in good health. A few weeks later he succumbed to a viral infection which, in the end and over the course of the Summer, ravaged his body. He lost strength, then the ability to walk, then some vision. He was in and out of the hospital – mostly in, he was transferred to hospice care. As so often seems to be the case, his willingness to fight was strong, but his ability was weak.
I was fortunate to be able to make trips back home to visit, first with my sons, and then with my wife, our last trip came when he was near death. Pneumonia had set in, and it became clear the battle was being lost. I arrived in time to be with him. His breath, at fist gasping and rapid, slowed and calmed. I held his hand and spoke to him. I doubt he heard me, but perhaps the words were calming. As I held his hand and sat, his breath continued to slow. Then stop.
The remainder of the week was filled with all the arrangements, beginning to go through his things. Sorting out a life. I spent time with, and came to know my stepsister and her children. And then, too soon, home.
While I was away, I suffered a severe attack of gout, probably the worst I’ve ever had. Needless to say, walking was dicey, and running was impossible. I find I’m still recovering, weeks later. Th good news, if there’s good news to be had, is the illness gave me time to rest a bit, then dig into the work that had accumulated during my absences.
Things are getting back on track. I’ve taken a few runs, as well as some walks. I’m hoping I can resume a full training schedule while I’m away. I do try to make it a point to run while I’m travelling – it’s often the only chance I have to see some of th cities I visit. Regardless, Fall races await.
I hope your Summer has gone well. And we move onward.

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