On June 10th my worlds collided and the halo effect will be felt for the rest of my life.
Working their magic, Karen, Andrea W., and Sandy brought some wonderful friends together to support my ride and to surprise the hell out of me. My Facebook had been compromised!
Expecting a lovely private tete a tete evening with Sandy, I was lured into a web of love.
I really thought we were going out for a private dinner to catch up and make some plans. "Just the two of us" Sandy kept repeating....okay message was clear.
We left our Cedars meeting with co-conspirator Leonard in attendance and headed off to play. Sandy and I had spoken during the day, and my attire became a subject for discussion which I put off as this new Hot Rebel with a Cause person she has become, and who I adore. I knew we were headed for a funky, artsy evening....just how ARTSY I never guessed.
After drinks we head out and Sandy tells me that we need to get to Notre Dame. Hmmm, Notre Dame, that means either Joe Beef or Liverpool House, and frankly I am dressed for either so no problem. I direct her to the street and as we are driving along it is I, not Sandy who says..."Hey what time are our restaurant reservations?" "8:00 why she answered",
I jumped in with all the well intentions in the world " Well you know my friend Karen's art gallery is right nearby, do you mind if we stop in?' No Sandy replies, we have a few minutes".
I call Karen thinking perhaps she is in the gallery as sometimes she works late or is having a vernissage for the public. OUR LUCKY DAY. Karen is still in the gallery and tells me to hurry as she is planning to leave soon as she has her own plans. Well we were right on the corner, we parked and after all we only had 15 minutes before our own dinner reservations so everything was working out perfectly....or so I thought.
Karen met us downstairs, beautifully dressed ( she had her own dinner plans), and escorted us up to the gallery. We talked of the architecture, the space and her beautiful art posters.
Karen's gallery is a beautiful showcase of Poster Art, magnificent pieces from Europe and North America that are both antiques and yet contemporary. She showcases these works of art in 3 separate rooms that act as individual galleries. www.laffichiste.com
As we pass the first gallery I noticed a large amount of uneaten food and I was flooded with disappointment as I surmised that Karen had arranged a vernissage and no one had attended.
Before I had a chance, people jumped out of everywhere screaming SURPRISE. My mind went into shock. All I could think of was that this was a SURPRISE PARTY for Sandy, after all I noticed Leonard, Andrea, Anna, Suzanne, Ingrid...but how come I was so surprised????? If it was for Sandy how come I didn't know about it?? How did we get here since after all it was my suggestion to stop at Karen's gallery, and it all seemed so random and spontaneous...WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON! Only when I saw my morning dog friends " The Hingston Gang", did I start to figure out that this was for me. I must have repeated 'I am so confused' at least 1000 times, and I truly was. I kept going over in my mind how I had gotten here and how Sandy manipulated me into suggesting to stop, but it was truly spontaneous and random....It was just meant to be!
So here on June 10th my worlds collided and in this moment of love I reached an epiphany. Those times that I am at peace when I am riding alone and feel free, I'm not really alone. The power pushing my legs and my body, is the power of 100's.
I realized that this ride is really not about me riding with Lance Armstrong. For me and for my friends, it is about Lance Armstrong riding with Sam Pelc. I leave it up to you to decide who is the lucky one, but for me the answer became quite clear on June 10th, 2009.
Thank you to all the co-conspirators, there will never be enough words for me to express my gratitude. Thank you to the kids and staff at Share the Warmth for the wonderful banner and photo of encouragement, I will be sure to have it at the starting line on September 11th.
A most personal Thank You to Karen for your generosity and hospitality, Thank You Giulian for being my BF and for being he ultimate host, Thank You PFP Andrea for your friendship and kindness, Thank you Simon for being the person that everyone loves, and Thank You Sandy for working your magic and getting us to a place without me having the slightest idea of where or why we were going there, and always encouraging me to reach higher. Thank You.