With training for the Edinburgh Moonwalk well under our belts we were slowing down for the weekend of the marathon. Bras were sewn (and lit up), outfits were ready and bags almost packed.
Ray and I were due to complete our 4th Moonwalk only this time we would be walking as a team of 8 . The team consisted of myself and Ray, 'Roomies' Jane and Katy (who completed the London Moonwalk last year). Jonathan and Katie along with my cousin Rory and his wife Elly had never walked a marathon before but their training had been relentless so we were prepped and ready to go. In just 4 days time on the 8th June we would be walking 26.2 miles for Walk the Walk,
The Wednesday before (5th) Ray went off for a routine AAA scan planning on being just 20 minutes. On his return over an hour later our lives were turned upside down. He had been informed that he had an aortic aneurism and mapped at 5.8cm he would need to visit the surgeon. His first question, in true Ray style was, "but I'm walking a marathon on Saturday night!" . . . An appointment was made with the surgeon on the next day, Thursday morning.
We saw the surgeon and after more scans the aneurism was recored at 6.2cm needing urgent surgery which is planned for 13th July. He was told under no circumstances to do the marathon, in fact to do not much at all, he needed to reduce stress and watch his blood pressure until his surgery. Our lives had been sent in turmoil and everything seemed to be happening in slow motion, what was happening to us??
I can't really remember the next couple of days it was a complete blur. I know we cried a lot, we talked a lot, we hugged a lot and we cried even more. We had friends calling, texting, ringing, and popping in, the amount of love and support we have is truly amazing.
Off we went to Edinburgh for what was to be a very emotional weekend. Ray put his outfit on and walked with us to the big pink tent but then left us after about an hour to do our job. He went to the apartment and read and watched telly keeping in contact all night.
I'm sure he won't mind me quoting the text he sent us all just before we set off on our journey. It will hopefully give you insight into why he is so precious and why I love him so much :-
"My dearest Ellie and Moonwalking buddies - Wow, what an emotional rollercoaster.
My real regret is that I will not be there to help you through the tough miles that you have in front of you; nor to share in the mutual encouragement and support that makes US what we are!!
Anyone of you can imagine how I feel at the moment so I will dwell on that no more . . . . coz I know that within a few hours I will be with you all again and able to share in your euphoria, pride and elation ( and relief!) at having completed another milestone challenge and adding another medal to your collection.
As I hugged each one of you tonight (yep, even you Rory LOL) I tried hard to pass onto you a little bit of me; my resolve, energy and commitment for you to carry with you over the next 8 hours or so. So when things get really tough (about the 18 / 19 mile mark or so ) and your resolve is failing and your legs and feet are hurting beyond belief, just dig deep and find that extra spark and inspiration to take you better to the finish. Just do that for ME; just do it for the dear friends and family that we have lost . . . . . but most importantly DO IT FOR YOU!!!
Ellie - I love you the Universe, and my dearest friends, I love you too!!
So go for it FOLLIES and I look forward to cheering you over the finish line in the morning.
Love you all.
PS Text me when your about ready to start. XX
Sent from my iPhone"
We set off on our emotional rollercoaster and stomped home in 8hrs. Another amazing, amazing achievement helping each other and doing what we do best, working as a team.
You have a lot of thinking time in 8hrs!!
I am looking at the positives! Ray is fit, otherwise healthy and younger than my Dad. Medicine has improved even in the last 5 yrs. operations like these are almost routine nowadays. So why am I so frightened of losing the most important thing in my life? 5 years ago I lost my Dad to the same condition, it's driving me insane. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!
How could life be so cruel?! Why was this happening to us? How can you tell someone you love them so much you need to take away their anguish, their pain, their suffering and their hurt? The one thing that has happened is that our rolls have been reversed. For the 10 years we have been together Ray has been my rock and done everything he can for me, now it's time for him to lean on me. It's time for me to be his rock and although we keep having the odd meltdown we're doing OK. As our good friend Andy said to me "time to pull up those big girls pants Ellie!" Oh believe me they're big!! I have big shoes to fill.
My challenges for the time being have been put on hold, I have more important things happening in my live at the moment although I am keeping up with my training.
Next years Edinburgh Moonwalk however will be a big event for us. Ray WILL get his medal and we seem to have an army of people walking over the finish line with us. With promises of walking (so far!!) we have our Roomies Katy and Jane, Jonathan and Katie, Elly, Jane, Christine and Steve, Tammy and knee permitting Jeanie.
Rory and Anna will be walking too but they have taken up the awesome challenge of doing over the moon - 2 marathons back to back - 56.4 miles!! For all that I would adore to do it with them my challenge is to help Ray next year, although that doesn't stop me training with them and I'm looking forward clocking up the miles. It's certainly times like these you realise what team work and friendship is all about. We're looking forward to getting Ray back on the road again.
We have a rocky road ahead but I'd like to thank everyone for their help and encouragement, we really are blessed to have such special people around us.