This month, I’ll be riding in the Great Cycle Challenge Canada to honour my mom, Marilyn Violet Arial.
The money raised during this challenge will go to the SickKids Foundation. It will allow them to continue their work in developing treatments and finding a cure for childhood cancer.
If you’d like to find out more or donate to the cause, please visit my Great Cycle Challenge Canada page.
Who was Marilyn?
Challenging Thoughts Week One
During the first week of this challenge I spent a lot of time remembering the last month of my mom’s life.
Unfortunately, her death and cycling link closely in my mind because I heard about her final hospitalization as I participated in the Tour de L’Ile. Had to cut the day short in order to ride home and drive to the hospital in Ontario.
She remained in the hospital for another few weeks and the entire family spent a lot of time there. I brought a bike with me while visiting her so that I could check out trails near the hospital to update the Ulysses Cycling in Ontario guidebook. The cycling helped me cope.
My sisters, dad and I stayed with her the final week of her life. I was holding her hand when she took her last breath. It’s still a comfort that she didn’t die alone. She was so loved.
Goal for future weeks
Hopefully, the coming weeks will focus on happier members, although I haven’t figured out yet how cycling will fit in because although my mom cycled as a youngster and as a senior, I don’t remember her bicycling at all as I was growing up. She was super supportive about me bicycling, but she didn’t do much herself, at least during those years.
Still, cycling formed a big part of her life and an even bigger part of mine.
Cycling as part of Marilyn’s life
The attached photo of her cycling with her little brother as a teen always makes me laugh.