Please take some advice...

Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member
edited November 2012 in General Discussion
Swimming long distances, or any endurance sport, is, by its very nature, a selfish pursuit. We spend a lot of time, money and effort chasing after whatever elusive dreams or demons that these events stuff into our heads to the point of bursting. Despite our obsessive and often monomaniacal questing to reach a distant shore no one else can see, we all have people who support us in our dreams, often sacrificing of themselves for our benefit and with no gain to them.

In my life, my wife and my mother have been my two greatest supporters - urging me on, consoling me when I failed, congratulating me in the rare case that I didn't, and kicking me in the ass when I needed it. In my mother's case this goes back to the 1960's and never waivered once - the old saying is true: nobody loves you like your mother. Twelve days ago, my mother had a massive stroke that shut down most of her brain. The next day it fell to me to make the call to take her off any life support and let her die. It took her 9 days before she passed away. I was at her bedside much of the time and even though her higher cognitive functions were non-existent, I talked to her and thanked her for everything she had done for me, including supporting my selfish obsession with endurance sports.

Although through the years I had thanked her for all she had done for me, as I sat there watching her die, I just wished that I could, for just one more time, talk to her and let her know how much her selfless support had been the cornerstone for the fulfillment that life has had for me. So, please take some advice and take a few minutes out of your busy day to thank the person or people who have sacrificed for your accomplishments, successes and fulfillment, because there WILL come a day when you won't be able to do so and you almost never know when that day is.


“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde


  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    RIP to your mother.

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • MandaiMandai Charter Member
    Sorry to hear that your mum passed away Leonhard. So true. My mum passed away two months ago and i also had no chance to say Goodbye as i couldnt it make it back in time from Malaysia to Germany. The last pics she saw from me (and you!) was from the End Wet swim...
  • Same with me. Although my mum knew it, when I was five I promised her I would swim to France one day. But just before she died, she said I still had another swim to do.

    My dad though was different, too hard a man for saying or listening to things of love and thanks. A few minutes before he died, I looked at his hands (they were fearful even then, the hands of a boxer). I looked at mine as they lay in his (the hands of a swimmer). His had never held me lovingly and now it was too late, they never would. I looked at my hands and decided they had one last moment to hold him with love and caring. I placed them on his head and told him the things that needed saying. He grumbled a bit, I couldn't tell if he was telling me off or telling me he loved me.

    I hope one day I will know the answer.

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Hugs and condolences, Leonard.
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