|Kelly is the one without the top hat :)|
Last year was a tough one for Kelly. The problem with being a real life Mary Poppins is that sometimes real life comes up and bites ya in the ass. She had some health problems that didn't look like they'd ever leave, and then she lost her father to cancer, actually a form of leukemia. Earl Gottsman was awesome. He is the source of Kelly's height, and from what I knew of him and have found out since his death also her kindness and love and generosity and good humor. He was a college professor and sometimes administrator. Even into retirement, he was an adult league softball star. He was friendly and accepting and threw himself into Kelly's new family (which happily includes us) with vigor and enthusiasm and love. He adored Kelly and was incredibly proud of her and he was her Daddy and he was too young to die, yet he did. Devastating.
Kelly was sad. You'd have to know happy Kelly to understand how heartbreaking that is. But Kelly, amongst everything else, is a fighter. She proudly claims to "never half-ass" and she lives up to that better than anyone I know. Kelly has decided to honor her dad by raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by running the Disney World Half Marathon this weekend. Kelly was a runner in high school and maybe college, and she was fast. She says she wants to get her fast back. Hell yeah, Kelly! She has raised $3800 so far and if you'd like to add to that total, there is still time. Her fundraising page has a blog that is funny and inspiring and also features a link to easily donate by credit card. It's on the right hand side. The big button that says "DONATE NOW". Hee hee :)
Kelly hopes to finish in under two hours, which is good time, I understand. She explains it this way, in perfect Kelly fashion,
When I ran this race 10 years ago, my finish time was 2 hours and 39 minutes. Provided the course hasn't changed to include running up Space Mountain, I'm confident that my 32 year old self could dust my 22 year old self by a solid 40 minutes.
Anyone looking down the barrel of getting older has got to admire that. She's awesome, see?
I'm looking forward to Saturday morning. I'm going to wake up at 5:30 am to "be there" in spirit at least for the start. Kelly thinks she can work out a way for me to track her progress through the race online, and I hope she does. I'll do it. I'll be her cheering section back home. Michael is going to be a "ChEAR" person on site. That term is too cute. So too cute it even makes a dedicated Disney Geek want to hurl, but that's what they call it. He'll get to see the start at Epcot, then get on a monorail for the Magic Kingdom where he will get to see her run through the Cinderella Castle, the half-way point of the race, before heading back to Epcot to see the finish. It all sounds so cool. I'm so happy for and proud of both of them. I'm beyond thrilled that this is all happening at DISNEY!!!! All I needed was further proof the place is really magic, right?
Via con Dios, Doctors Howard. Have a great time, be proud and be safe. I love you both.