Monday, September 24, 2012

Dear Susan

Monday Sept 24, 2012  Marina del Rey to Costa Mesa

I just want you to know I didn't write this letter.  Mark said somehow he got this by email and he forwarded it to me.  This is the end of this adventure.  What's next?  I don't know but I'm hooked.  

Thank you all for following along with Mark and I.  I hope you got a sense for our adventure and that you will all consider stretching your legs a bit.  You never know what you might find out about yourself.

Dear Susan,

It’s Daddy here. Surprised to hear from me?
Thanks for your e-mail of August 30. I have got to tell you, I haven’t had much contact with your world since I got here, so it was nice to hear from anyone, let alone you. Some of the guys here try to get on the internet, but none of them seem to be able to get connected. As you know, I left your world just at the dawn of the internet, so I never really used a computer before. I’ll try sending you an e-mail now though. I hope you get it. However, I have been having fun with Mummy and her computer. Every time she thinks something isn’t working due to a computer malfunction, she has no idea it’s me just bugging her. Anyway, enough chit chat. They don’t usually allow me to contact anyone very often, so I’m glad I have the chance now. By the way, in case you were wondering, I do occasionally see you up north at the chalet.

Before we get to your cycling trip, I just want to tell you how proud I am of you. After I left, you and your brother Allan built some business! I never dreamed it could be so successful. Wow. What a great job by both of you. But what is even more impressive is that the two of you built that business without sacrificing any family relationships. You and your brother are as close now as you have always been, and I love when you often tell everyone “Allan has my back – always has, always will”. I’m glad you have strong relationships with Esther, Erin, and Carrie too. Plus, you’ve been an incredible daughter-in-law to Irwin and Muriel as well as being a good sister-in-law to Jo-Ann and her husband Alan. I love that you help Muriel with everything, from gambling to finances. It’s cute to watch. You’re a great friend to all your pals. And what can I say about the way you are with Mummy (and Gordie – he’s good for your mother, don’t you think?). Mummy relies on you so much and is so proud of you. But what I am happiest about is how great a wife and mother you are. I always knew you had it in you. I am sorry I wasn’t there to watch the last 19 years in person. That would have been fun, especially skiing with Adam, Lauren, and Samantha. You’ve shown that you can do anything you set your mind to. Speaking of which, let’s talk about the past few weeks (and months) of cycling.

Incredible. First the training. That looked hard. I was astounded that you could spend hours on that stupid indoor trainer. I tried doing that a couple of times (remember?) and hated it. But there you were, hour after hour on that contraption. Mind you, you were watching TV while you rode inside (I remember you were always good at watching TV, especially your favorite show Mary Tyler Moore), but clearly you were putting in the hours. Then, when you got out on the road, I could see that you were serious. I remember from my rides up to Peter’s cottage just how scary road riding can be, so again you showed just how brave and determined you really are.

And then you left on this trip. Good for you sweetie! After I read your letter, I starting thinking about what you wrote. You’re right, I would have enjoyed the adventure and camaraderie that you’re experiencing. I do remember the ride to Peter’s cottage at Balfour Beach for my 60th birthday. I remember it like it was yesterday. Those types of memories stay with you, my dear. Forever. I was proud of my riding that day, and I got to spend a great day with my entire family. It does not get better than that.

But, in your letter to me, you wrote me that you “get it now”. That was three weeks ago. But did you really get it then? Really? If you’re being honest with yourself, I think you’ll agree now that you didn’t get it then. But you get it now, three weeks later, don’t you? You stood on the coastline of the largest ocean on the planet and were stunned at what you saw. Then you climbed mountains and rode hundreds of miles. And then you visited me.

That’s right. I was with you in the Redwoods, on the Avenue of the Giants. Not in any way you can actually discern. I was with you while you had your moment, and you just simply stood there and wept. You wept at the awesomeness of your surroundings. You wept at the sudden realization of how fortunate you are. Why did it take a bike trip for you to feel this? Who knows? But feel it, you did. And for that I am glad. Your moment was good for you. It’s yours now, and you can keep it with you the rest of your life.

Now you get it. You learned a thing or two about yourself these past three weeks didn’t you? Surprising, eh? To learn new things about yourself at age 53? Bet you didn’t expect that.

I love you, now and forever, my beautiful, strong, brave girl.



PS – we get a heads up on a bunch of stuff around here and the word is out – you can officially give up on the Toronto Maple Leafs – they will never win the Stanley Cup


  1. I am verklemp. That was so lovely to read Susan, congratulations on a great adventure Mentally, physically and spiritually. I am so proud of you and the Bro, can't wait to see you soon!

  2. Arlene says......This letter is so beautiful, and I know that each and every word written in it is exactly what your dad would be saying. I am So proudnof,you.I knew you could do it and I knew that it would be worth every bump and bruise. Not many can claim an accomplishment like you have just achieved. Awesome for real.