Friday, August 12, 2016

Sunflowers

I just went through and cleaned house in the PowerTrain blog. I haven't used it much this year even though I really should have. It's been pretty crazy in the world since the '15 Tour and I apologize for letting the posts get buried in Facebook.

Let me maybe put it a little bit aright with a story for you.

If you're new to the Tour or the 'Train, you may not have noticed that sunflowers sometimes figure into our team photos and and flyers. There's a reason for that other than that they're pretty nice to have around the house.


You see, way back when we first took the plunge and became a Tour de Cure team, it came about that we decided to dedicate each year's ride to someone we knew...someone fighting diabetes right here in our world...not some corporate face on a publicity poster. 

That first dedication was Leanne Cardone. She lost her fight with diabetes at the age of 41 and since her Mom and Dad were really good friends of mine, it was pretty obvious that she and they would be the ones we rode for. I've written about Leanne, Donnie and Sandy several times over the years but there's one story that I don't think ever got told.

You see, Leanne loved sunflowers. Donnie told me that many times when he and I worked together on the "Lakeshore Express" at midnight. She loved those flowers and I will always remember Donnie telling me that after she passed away, the big farm field by her house all of a sudden blossomed with millions and millions of sunflowers. From end to end and side to side. I remember him saying that she would have smiled.



He tells the story so much better than I do and I always get a little misty when he does. It's a bright light and when I think of it, all the work to pull off the Tour seems worth it.

It makes the FLX more than a bike ride or a fundraiser to lots of us. For me anyway, it's a memory and hope. It's something good in what's sometimes not a nice world. It's friends and people to meet. It's sunflowers when it snows and spring rides after long winters. It's a lot of things to a lot of people...hundreds of people along the way doing great things for everyone who's waiting for the day when they can say, "I used to have diabetes."

And as Paul Harvey always said, "Now you know the rest of the story."

See you all at the mighty FLX!