Thanks for taking the time to meet and catch up
. It's always a privilege for Julie and me to see you face to face
. Kelsey and Mike, and Nick and Chelsea thoroughly enjoyed listening as you shared about your experiences of the past 22 months, and the events of your personal Chapter 1. Thanks so much for engaging them
. You have no idea how grateful I am, that they were able to come on such short notice, and experience first hand the possibilities that are available to them, if they dare to dream big, as a result of your words. If, in the future, either Nick or Kelsey comes to me and says, "Dad, I'm leaving on an adventure and I don't know when I'll be back," I'll have you to blame and thank
Last Friday, I was working for a client who asked me what I had planned for the weekend. I explained to she and her husband I would be meeting up with a friend who is currently traveling the world on a motorbike. I shared a few details about your travels, how we met, etc. but kept the conversation brief.
This morning, Ann asked about the weekend (Paul and Ann have become much more than clients over the years, and they're more like family, than clients.) As I shared about your journey, Ann just smiled. Then she asked, "How is it possible Mark is in DC, his bike is somewhere off the coast of New Zealand, and he's going to reunite with his bike in Australia?" That's when I mentioned Alzheimer's.
I continued sharing about your journey, and the reason you were in town. As I was talking, I noticed Ann's smile beginning to fade. She opened up and shared the most powerful story about the struggles and difficulties she and Paul are currently experiencing as a result of Paul's mother. "It's so sad," she told me. "She doesn't remember Paul anymore, and she's convinced there's a loud party happening every night down in the living room, and most recently, she's convinced a black bear is living in the tree outside her bedroom." I didn't know about Ann and Paul's struggle until this morning...
Mark, I suspect, if Alzheimer's hadn't changed the course of your life, you would not be on this journey, and you would willingly exchange Chapter 2 for a lengthy, healthy, happy continuance of Chapter 1. However, I want to encourage you, that your journey is touching lives in ways you can't begin to imagine, because you CHOSE to carry on, and share it...
The last thing Ann said to me when I finished today, was,
"Please tell Mark 'Thank You' for everything he's doing on behalf of the Alzheimer's disease." I gave her a huge smile, and assured Ann, I would.
See ya next year Mark, if not sooner