With every storm, there is sunshine at the end…………
Although our week started out with two challenging days, we made it through and finished today in beautiful sunny conditions. With every storm, there is sunshine at the end. Today was that day.
Outside of running, we had two very neat visits. On Wednesday we finished our day with a tour of the Centre of Excellence for Canadian Forces Parachuting Program at CFB Trenton. Ben Lee hosted us and gave us a look inside the training facilities that prepare our troops for deployment (either for war or aid around the world). It was an experience that I will never forget and one that reminded me of how proud I am to be a Canadian.
Our second visit was at a High School in Belleville. We had a great day promoting both the run and our Programs in the School of Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism. Beyond running, these are the experiences that we will always remember.
I have always called running my counselor. I think a lot on my runs. I often get lost in my music and day dream about family, life, and even planning another run once this one is finished. This week I thought a lot about my dad. My mom is the inspiration behind Sophie’s Run, but I cannot forget about my dad. Without him, I would not be where I am today. I am lucky to have two parents who have always encouraged my brother and I to reach for the stars and to go after the things in life that make us happy. They truly taught us that with hard work anything is possible. My parents instilled a work ethic that made me appreciate everything they provided for our family.
I grew up in a restaurant in Milton, ON. It was called Papa Nick’s (after my grandfather, Nick Chuchmach). At a very young age, my brother and I started working in the restaurant every Saturday morning. We made $20 every shift, often working between 4-5 hours. My dad would work the busy breakfast with us, while my mom made weekly visits about 2 hours into our shifts. She had very strict rules. We were not allowed to speak to her while she sat and ate her breakfast and watched us work. My brother and I had to work hard until our shift was over. She watched us work and made sure we didn’t sit down or hide in the bathroom to pass time. My parents were both hard workers and I am glad they instilled a strong work ethic in me.
Being the only daughter and granddaughter on my dad’s side, I must say that I might have been a little spoiled (maybe a lot if you asked my brother). My dad was the parent who always coached our sports teams and made sure he never missed a school basketball or soccer game. My dad and I share a strong bond, just like the bond between my mom and I. I learned the true meaning of unconditional love after my mom passed away. I once read that you go through 4 stages of grief (denial, depression, anger, and acceptance). After my mom passed away, I continued to live with my father. As he was in the stage of depression, I was in the stage of anger. We went through many tough times, many so tough, that I wonder why he is still loves me the same way he has for my entire life. I almost can’t type my blog without crying. While I went through my stage of anger, my dad was the one who was the bearer of every break-down and moment that I would like to forget. I was angry because I wanted something that he couldn’t give me, my mom. I blamed him for her illness and for many things that were not his fault. I am not sure I would be as forgiving as my dad was to me, but I thank God every day for giving me a father that meets every definition of what a dad should be.
Although cancer has many negative effects, my dad and my relationship are living proof that with every storm, there is sunshine at the end.