And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by

It has been 9 years since we lost you, Dad. I love you and miss you, so much. Thank you for raising me to be a responsible and accountable man. I could not have survived the past month without your example. Thank you for the example of strength and owning my decisions. I hope I can be something resembling the great dad you are to Van Jr. and Vivie. I also hope I can be a great husband to Abbe like you were to Mom.

They need me.

Thank you, Dad.

Love,
Van Sr.

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking.

~ Sea-Fever by John Masefield

Happy birthday, Vivienne

I can’t believe she’s a teenager. I can already feel the avalanche of gray hairs and worrying about her. Ahh, that started long ago, like maybe 13 years ago to be exact.

Viv, you have changed me. Although you’re not always perfect, you make me want to be for you. I love you, Punkin. Now, I need to remember to get out of the way, let you make and learn from your mistakes, try to stop worrying so much, and then like you have told your audiences many times… sit, back, relax, and enjoy the show!

Funny/Interesting Links…

Your call

I am entering week 5 of my training for the  Coastal Delaware Marathon, and something hasn’t felt quite right. I am running without fundraising. I do realize that many runners run without bothering friends and family about one cause or another, but well, that ain’t me. My bib is already paid for, so… why not?

Ergo, I wanted to poll everyone where they would like to see some efforts? The survey below has the charities that I supported in the past, but I’d also like to understand what is important to you. The charitable organization will need to be human-interest related and have some sort of online mechanism to facilitate handling donations directly (i.e. I’d prefer not to handle the donations myself).

Create your own user feedback survey

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that’s my wife, that’s my hero, that’s my Abbe

See that proud lady right there? That’s my wife, Abbe.

In this photo, Abbe is holding up her medical clearance to run the Disney Marathon in January 2012. What you can’t see in this photo is Abbe’s tongue which was badly bitten from having two grand mal seizures 36 hours prior to the marathon.

I had run a half and full marathon on consecutive days that year, completing the Goofy Challenge – I was given three medals after I finished the 26.2 grueling miles. Abbe was supposed to have three medals as well, but after hitting her head during her second seizure the day prior to the half, she was not cleared to run the half. Miraculously, she was cleared by the doctors in the ER to run the full marathon the next day.

People often exclaim, “wow, a half and a full on consecutive days?” And I smile and tell them that what Abbe accomplished was 10 times more difficult than my 39.3 miles.

See that proud lady right there? That’s my hero. That’s my Abbe.

Abbe is now almost two and a half years seizure free. I am running the 2016 Philadelphia Half Marathon in honor of Abbe with Athletes vs. Epilepsy. I am seeking to raise $2311 to provide funding for research for treatments that help seizure disorder patients like Abbe. Please consider a donation if you are able to do so.

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The Catch

Well, you knew one was coming… if I haven’t bugged you to watch, please consider spending 3 minutes and 40 seconds learning about why I am training so hard for the 2016 Philly Half Marathon. This video describes one of the scariest seizures Abbe had. One which, I literally caught her before she hit the pavement.

This video has a montage of pictures of what my family might have missed if I lost her that day. The music is me using as many of my pedals as possible (I need to get a new pair of studio headphones, it’s tough to get high gain tones and be able to hear the other tracks). It’s crazy to think about how far we’ve come. I’m so proud of my wife. Whenever I’m having a bad day or don’t feel like going for a training run, all I have to do is look at her beautiful face and there’s my motivation.

If you are able to do so, please consider a donation to Athletes Vs. Epilepsy.

Movie Reviews…

War Dogs – really fun to watch. Jonah Hill is great in this.

ARQ – great concept, but kind of a clusterf*ck of a movie.

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