Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Our daily lives are all about routine. You find something that works and quietly slip into the comfort zone, tinkering here and there but mostly riding the slipstream. Occasionally you add goals that bump you out of that comfort zone - be they races you want to run, times you want to beat, things you want to do etc. If you want them badly enough these goals become important, increasingly so as the effort and commitment required to achieve them grows.

Until something happens and you realize they really aren't important at all.

Yesterday Nancy got a call out of the blue to say that her dad had had a stroke and was in ICU. And in an instant that wellworn routine comes crashing down.

And you have decisions to make.

We both agreed that we didn't want the boys to see their grandpa like that. Gavin is very sensitive - when his great-uncle died earlier this year he convinced himself that mummy and daddy were going to die too. It took weeks of talking about it to stem the frightened tears.

So we decided that Nancy would drive up there while I stayed here with the boys and kept up as normal a routine as I could for them. I told Gavin yesterday that his grandpa was in hospital, but I don't know if he fully understood. You can never tell with Gavin though - he'll take something in, think on it, brood about it, and then open up to you when he's ready.

Last night we had a long conversation about bad dreams which may have been his first roundabout way of knocking on the door.

But I have the easy job - looking after my boys. Nancy has to be there for her dad who doesn't recognize her or even know who she is.

Needless to say, running is on indefinite hold. I can do some weights or yoga workouts at home, or even the bike trainer after Dylan goes to bed, but it's just not that important right now.

Here's what is.

Last night I stood and watched Dylan sleeping in his crib. Then I lay down with Gavin and put my arm round him. He snuggled up to me and fell asleep.

And I was very grateful for them both.


Larry said...

Hoping for the best for your family, Mark. Family is important, running is not. Take care.

Ryan V. said...

You guys are in my thoughts, amigo.

K said...

Prayers being sent your way. Family first, forever and always.

brendaontheRun said...

It's always awful getting that dreaded phone call. All the best.

Marcia said...

Mark, I'm so sorry. My mom had a stroke back in May, and it is definitely a long, hard road ... one that puts many things into perspective for you. Please tell Nancy that my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

John said...

I'll ring you later mate, so how you guys are.

Jeff Farrell said...

very sorry to read about the bad news Mark!!