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Let’s get the announcements out of the way so I can talk about what I really want to talk about.

Saturday June 8th we will run Rubio Woods loop.  About 9.7 miles and we will have at least two water stops.  After this Saturday we will be back at Yankee for summer training.

This year we will offer power walking training to go along with all we have offered in the past.  I’m excited about this new training pace.

We will have speed work on Wednesdays at Chicago Christian track.  None other than our very own Dave Mauger will be in charge. Don’t recognize the name?  Come on people he has been with us for over a decade. You might know him as Frogger. I can’t think of a better guy to trust with my runners.

On Saturday the Yankee Runners took part in the first annual “Attack the Track” marathon relay.  We finished second but I don’t care about that. What I do care about is how 26 YR’s put everything they had into their mile.  As a team we ran a 2:56:54. I was thrilled to assist in organizing this event. I have never been so proud to be part of any team as I was Saturday as I watched the race unfold.  I haven’t been this horse since my daughter ran cross country. Too much yelling.

The Margarita Girls also entered a team.  It was so much fun seeing 9 local teams come together for fun and charity.  Good job girls.

$2340.00 was raised and donated to the Tesher family.  I don’t know them well but good enough to exchange pleasantries when we saw each other at many races.  They are a running family, mother and children. They lost their Husband and father unexpectedly last week.  The money will help but what is more important is them knowing that the running community cares. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Yes we finished second but I’m sure no YR had anything left to give.  At the end of the day I went to sleep knowing the YR’s had 26 runners, 10 females and every runner had a direct link to the Yankee Runners just as the rules called for.  

Now that we have a little experience next year we may be able to enter more teams.

Thank you to all participants, to all team captains and especially to Bev Lynch for all her hard work.

Our story is about to end.

I was amazed at the speed the equipment was delivered and set up.  I made the final decision after meeting with the DR’s on Friday and on Sunday we brought Cookie home.  I will be the first to tell you our first 24 hours were not what I was promised. Peaceful and pain free was what I was promised.  I don’t think Cookie was in pain but she was very restless. I was very careful not to over medicate her. I did not want to do anything to speed up her passing.  I’m carrying enough guilt as it is. The nurses got the medication dosages correct and things got better for Cookie and therefore for me. Cookie slept most of the time. It became obvious to me that I had two choices let her sleep or have her in some degree of not pain but discomfort.  Seeing her in any discomfort was not acceptable to me, so we let her sleep most of the time. The caregivers where nothing short of amazing, not that they had much to do. Cookie slept mostly and had a catheter in but it gave me comfort knowing Cookie had them if the need arose. They prayed with us like Cookie was one of their own.  

The house was full of love and yet there was unimaginable pain on all who stopped by.  I saw rocks crumble as they look at and spoke to a sleeping Cookie. How could a quiet girl like Cookie have such an impact on so many people?  I don’t know but she did. Perhaps it was what we took for granted, her kind and gentle nature. I’m pretty sure nobody ever spoke ill of her, why would they.  

After a few days her breathing got raspy.  I was sure that night would be the night. It wasn’t she was not ready to go yet.  A few days later I had just given her, her midnight medicine and told the caregivers I would be up to give her the next dose around 4:00 am.  Shortly after 1:00am I heard some movement downstairs and I knew she was leaving us. I made some calls and held her hand as I waited for the kids and her family to arrive.  It seems odd to me, that was not as bad as the Friday when I made the decision to let her go.

The hospice nurse arrived and went through the protocol.  We got Cookie dress in some very cute pink terry cloth pajamas and waited for the funeral home.  They arrived and showed Cookie the utmost respect and dignity as they took my babydoll out of her home.  The arrangements were already made. With Lisa giving birth on Monday we had no choice but to hold the funeral for a week.  It all worked out.

It is my opinion that Cookie had quite a send off.  We did things as we thought she would have wanted. The day was filled with tears but also laughter as stories were told.  Some of them were even true.

I won’t make Cookie in death something she was not in life.  She moved no mountains, she built n o empires. She chose a much more difficult path to follow.  She chose to be my wife. That could not have been easy.

It has been 10 months since she left me, but is she really gone?  I say no, she lives on in her daughters and the grandchildren she helped raise.  

Next week I will write the final chapter.

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