Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stroll and Roll

Certificates of Insurance …. Facilities Use Permits.... Request for In-Kind Donation Forms.... my life is populated with people who need me to fill things out and not make any mistakes.

The people who need the forms don't always have the on-line links available. The people who proffer the forms are often unknown to the people who answer the phones. The forms all ask the same basic questions, but no two of them look alike. There's no such thing as cut and paste with these agencies.

I am intersecting with the Sheriff and the Transportation Department and the Town and the Natural Resources and Parks Department and several school districts and Waste Management. Each entity has its own strategy and approach to my event. It's hard to keep track of who wants to schmooze and who wants to cut to the chase.

What I do know is that everyone wants to be sure to be indemnified. What I didn't know was how complicated a process that would turn out to be. Even though I wasn't the point person for coordinating the COI (notice how cozy the affidavit and I have become over the last few months) I was responsible for insuring that it got to where it was going once it was obtained. I am also responsible for reassuring all the agencies involved that the Risk Manager has signed off on the document and that there are no worries.

No worries. That's not a phrase that makes anyone I've spoken to this week happy. Nor comfortable. Nor thrilled. I'm reduced to sharing comforting emails from those higher up the civil service food chain than I, and hoping that they work some kind of magic.

All I wanted was to be surrounded by family and friends on the anniversary of the worst Saturday of my life. It seems that I will get my wish... times ten... or ten hundred. BEYOND has spread the word far and wide. Two radio stations are running promotional spots touting my Stroll andRoll. I'm walking around with business cards detailing the logistics; I'm leaving them everywhere I go.

I am riding a golf cart with the Parks Department liaison tomorrow morning. Last time Martina and I rode the path of the Stroll and Roll we were hunkered down in our jackets and mittens. She was smart enough to have brought a hat along. I froze. That was 3 weeks ago. Tomorrow I'll be wearing shorts and a t-shirt. (Why are you living in an environment that is c-c-c-cold today? We'd be glad to share our sunshine and warmth with all of you.) I'll be deciding where to put tables and chairs and canopies and water stations and recycling containers as we bump along the newly constructed walkway named in honor of my little lost pal. We'll be enjoying the outdoors and the view and we'll be analyzing the turns for signage needs and I'll be thinking about the child whose loss precipitated this event.

It's hard to keep the lump in my throat from turning into dripping tears. She would love to be in that cart next to me, making decisions and planning her entrance. Her ceramic butterflies will be there in her stead, and I will feel her absence with every breath I take.

There is nothing I can do to bring her back, but there is much that I can do to bring her forward with me. I can invite schoolchildren to join me in her name. I can remind myself that smiles not sorrow are just what Christina ordered and that wallowing gets me no place. I can picture my girlfriend, her mother, riding in The Rose Parade and marvel at the celebrity which has found us. I can encourage people to “bring someone unlikely” to the event, because my friendship with C-T was viewed as surprising by so many. I can share the joy of inter-generational intersections with a moving back story to bolster my case.

I can't bring her back, but I can keep her near.

If you are in Tucson on Saturday, come and visit with us for a while.


  1. Please, please, please post lots of pictures. I cannot be there, but I will be thinking of you. I KNOW the day will not be a Saturday you will ever forget and you will not regret remembering CT this way. She will be with you in spirit.

    Even as I'm crying right now, I try to remember what John Green said. Christina would not want us to cry. I keep thinking about you and how strong you are. How much you have done in this past year. I marvel and admire you so much. I aspire to be half the person you are.

    You are amazing!

    Megan xxx

  2. Megan- you couldn't have chosen a better model to aspire too.

    Also, rest assured, I will be bringing my camera and taking as many pictures as humanly possible.

  3. We'll be at BEYOND events in mid town tomorrow. Two small kids are going to keep me close to home tomorrow, but will be with you in spirit. It is going to be an amazing day, starting off at TMC tomorrow morning. Love to you, strength, peace and community also.

  4. Fantastic post.And A great Analization too.I'm very happy to see this post.


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