So, I have this church family.
We're all just a little odd, remarkably OK with me. That just tells me that we're authentic people, true to the selves God gave us, true to the realities of our lives. Lots of laughter, good food, big fun. All of it together. Tim calls it "food, fellowship, and fun." It's taken us lots of places we'd never get on our own, one of those is the Ironman Half Marathon.
Which is what we were up to this weekend. Our buddy Rick moved to our pretty little city almost nine years ago. It was in the middle of the recession and jobs in his area of expertise, main frame computers, were virtually non-existent. There was one left, in Idaho, and he grabbed it right up.
But he was bored out of his mind, having left his family in the Portland/Vancouver area. Already a runner, he decided to try for Marathons and Half-marathons. We were just getting to be friends at that point and we showed up for his first Boise Half-marathon. That one was tough, but it was the first of many.
A few years ago, he got to go back home, but he always had a fondness for the Boise event. So he and his wife Suzie came to town. We were getting together for lots of race activities and backyard picnics.
My cousin Julie and I went to the first party. Here's what you have to know about Julie. She can be a stubborn soul, and there are only four people who can easily coax her past her stubbornness and her shyness into a party mood. My brother, and these three guys, are the only ones who can readily get her to new places and to try new things. They have been so good to her over the years and been at the core of lots of fun events, among them a hug every single weekend in church. They dote over her, make things possible for her, include her in every invitation. She loves them as I do, and she goes.
Mainly, we all played with baby, Bear, Tim and Julie's new little one.
Rick was looking forward to seven hours of active, competitive action. We held our breath.
So the race. Rick had a good swim, and was fifteen miles into the bike ride. The rules stipulate that the cyclists have to be a ways apart, maybe four feet, from each other. But there was this one rider who was not following the rules. She hit Rick's rear wheel, which pitched him over the handle bars. He broke his shoulder and fractured his hip in two places. She did not stop, did not acknowledge her part in the accident. She did not help.
Here's where I'm fuzzy on the details. I don't know if the first aid people scooped him up and got him into an ambulance to St. Al's. Rick had his phone, called Suzie. Or if Tim, Suzie, and the other Julie picked him up and got him help. None-the-less, he did wind up at Al's, and they did all the appropriate tests and got him patched up enough to get him home to Vancouver, where another orthopedic doc will follow his care. Tim and Julie, Cheryl and Larry all did yeoman duty in taking care of Rick and Suzie both, with uncommon kindness and purpose, and with all the love there is. Pastor Duane, also a runner, said some sweet prayers for his safe recovery, too.
Yesterday, they made it home.
He'll be OK, at some point, will be itching to get back into his training soon enough, wants to come back for a few days in July. We'll be watching over him pretty darn close and playing our hearts out with Baby Bear.