Longtime no type huh!? Sorry about that but the truth is, I felt I was starting to be quite negative and I was nervous about looking bitter. So, what to do when you don’t like what you feel? Hide. In the literary sense. Thankfully, visa restrictions and lack of funds, forced me back home and away from the day to day toil of being solo support crew…not without the horrendous feeling of guilt though.
So what’s been going on since I left that Rob, all alone with a dismantled baby jogger, stood outside the run down motel in Nashville; guiltily waving at him as the cab drove off but also feeling some immense relief and excitement about getting home. A lot has happened for both of us and it’s worked out to be the best decision (so I can happily feel less guilty, yay!) but with a few sad and angry moments thrown in there. Can’t all be rainbows and skipping fairies now can it?
On my immediate return I had to have two tyres replaced on the car (of course I had tyre issues) I also needed new brakes! So, heading to Kent (where I became me and grew up) I got busy with sorting repairs but looked forward to being surrounded by my family and seeing my gorgeous lurcher, The Monsta. My parents, the superb beings they are, looked after Monsta for me when I headed to Australia about 4 years ago and they pretty much claimed him and he pretty much claimed them so, it was decided that he was best kept with them and their lurcher, Alfie (he was still mine though!) Unfortunately (sad moment, sorry) Monsta, had developed laryngeal paralysis along with disc disease that was being well managed but had sadly, come to a point that he couldn’t be Monsta any more. He tried to be Monsta very badly but seeing him struggle was simply too much and we all made the most difficult decision to allow him dignity and mostly, the pain free awareness of us being with him and cuddling and kissing him like crazy, until the very end. He passed with a belly full of ham and a head full of kisses. He really was a very good boy. Now, loss is a difficult thing obviously but I really wasn’t prepared for how I would react. I got mostly quite angry and I aimed most of that towards Rob (poor Rob) The truth is, I felt very unsupported at a time of real significance. I resented the run and I felt quite alone and angry that I had given so much of my time to help him but where was he? A badly timed instagram photo of him all smiles with a bunch of people he’d met, did not go down well at all. I also struggled with genuine nice comments from my family and friends. I guess I didn’t want reminding of it but at the same time I wanted the gravity of it recognised. Grief, we all go through it in very different ways. I have now accepted that this big bundle of crazy personality has gone and that Rob was in no position to be able to help and of course, felt as equally sad and disappointed that he couldn’t be there. He has gone but he left behind memories that I can return to and smile about. We will scatter his ashes and allow all those crazy atoms to return, back into this beautiful world and I am more than content with that. I am grateful that I at least could be there.
I am back to nursing (Veterinary) and loving squishing and smooching them pets. I had actually missed being around animals and the routine of work life along with being around familiar faces. I’m back in Liverpool (best city in the world) having caught up with all my best friends and I have my identity back. I hadn’t counted on how much of being me, I would lose whilst I spent every day, consumed with Rob. Everything, whilst being out there, supporting him, was about him. Of course it was and I fear that this can sound very resentful, trust me, I’m not but I have very much enjoyed people asking me how I am and asking me about what I want to do. I have actually been able to enjoy watching Rob’s journey rather than being part of it. What I have learned is that from the outside looking in, you have no idea just how challenging it is. I could bleat on and on about the day to day, hour to hour and minute to minute tasks and obstacles that are encountered but never realised via a social media site. We will only show the good and interesting stuff but the boring, tiring and grumpy stuff is (mostly)left out. I will instead just remind you that for about 10 hrs a day, every day, he runs. Through every climate possible, through pain, through loneliness and constant thoughts of where and when he may rest or eat. It is no holiday.
Hasn’t he done well though? Baby jogger (Pramsolo) with all his belongings and relying on the amazing kindness of locals that he meets. He has had great press and some well deserved attention here and there from the BBC, the Boston Globe, Sky News and the Daily Star amongst others. He has completed the Boston Marathon and the big turn around at Marshall Point Lighthouse. The biggest struggle, to turn around after all that excitement and feel like he’s starting again for the 3rd leg/crossing. He’s still doing it though; He’s still out there, pushing a jogger and running 35+ miles a day on his own. I feel less guilty and actually believe it to have been a good thing. At least he knows he can truly manage unsupported and that is yet another challenge he overcame.
I have been looking through all our photos since the start in September and realising what an amazing adventure we’ve had so far. I’m really excited to get back out there and see the sights and meet some more amazing people, so I will be returning (all being well) to support him again in July. I have to, for so many reasons but mostly because I love him and I would like to think that I would always help those that I love, to live their dreams. This has been a challenge on our relationship; The daily close proximity to the extreme distance, The feelings of uneven support, the bank balance nearing zero, the waiting around for our next adventure but I am in total awe of what he is achieving. I get to burst with pride at every new stage he reaches and I get to hear him tell me exciting stories about his day instead of not having anything interesting to talk about. Yes, sometimes I wish it was all over but mostly, just thinking about this ‘Forrest Gump run’ just brings a massive smile to my face and let’s be honest, a normal 9-5 life, just wouldn’t cut the mustard.