It has been a little over two months since my dear friend, Cindy, experienced a right-sided cerebellar stroke. This stroke was secondary to a spontaneous right vertebral artery dissection, which in turn was caused by a previously un-diagnosed genetic disorder called fibromuscular dysplasia. Of course, the stroke came as a complete shock to everyone as Cindy has always been one to take the proper steps to mitigate ALL illness. This sort of stroke is not one caused by living on the edge. Cindy had no other risk factors. I think of it as a stroke of bad luck (although that isn’t quite the right phrase either).
During her week-long stay in the intensive care unit, I waited for the updates on her condition and prayed for quick recovery. True to form, my dear friend fought her way out of there, treating her recovery with the same diligence and dedication that she gave her ironman training. More even!
Of course, I offered to help her out with her recovery efforts. She took me up on my offer and requested that I go walking/hiking with her. It made sense; Cindy has been my running and hiking buddy for more years than I can say. In fact, it is hard for me to remember a time when she was not a part of my life.
A friend is one who joyfully sings with you when you are on the mountaintop, and silently walks beside you through the valley.” -William Arthur Ward
During my marathon training days, she was chasing her own fitness goals. We run together when we wanted company and ran alone when solace was needed. When life slowed one of us down, the other seemed to adjust their pace to match. Our weekend runs became hikes where we would catch up, troubleshoot, or just laugh at life.
Through the years we’ve been through the ups and downs – on the trails and in life. She has been there for me, and now, I am here for her.
As always, she continues to amaze me with her strength and determination. Please join me in pray and wishing well to this amazing woman.