Friday, November 9, 2012

The Future Is Bright

"Call the man

Who deals in love beyond repair
He can heal the world
Of hearts in need of care
Shine a light ahead
When the next step is unclear
Call the man
He's needed here "

July 27th, 2011 was the day my dad was struck while riding his bike by a driver looking in his backseat.  I still can't believe I stood in a funeral home over a year ago at my own dad's funeral - - I was supposed to be home in just 1 week to spend a long weekend with him, he still has to see me race, see me graduate as a doctor, walk me down the aisle, and oh so much more.

Since that day I've had times when I've wanted to throw my arms up call my dad and know he'd have all the answers or know the right thing to say.  I've moved more than a few times in the past year - into a storage unit, down to Georgia, back to DC, to a new apartment in DC, etc.  In the past my dad has always been a huge helper when I've moved, whether into my first dorm or first apartment in DC he was there carrying mattresses and hanging curtains.  When I had to move my DC stuff into a storage unit I was overwhelmed.  It took 2 days of hauling car loads to the storage unit and then unloading the car and filling the storage unit.  I couldn't take it anymore, I had to finish so I would be ready to fly to Arizona the next day and be moved out of my apartment completely -- so I called on my dad to help me, to give me some energy to finish what seemed like in insurmountable task.

I've called on my dad many other times throughout the past year +.  One of those times being the last 2.2 miles of my Ironman.  The first 24 miles of the run I had energy, I had support, I had friends on the course.  As my energy drained and the finish line drew near I didn't want to walk.  I wanted to speed up, but 110 miles into a race, it's hard to just speed up.  At mile 24 my main run support headed to the finish line to be there when I came through - so I did the only thing I could think of at the time.  I asked my dad to carry me on Angelwings (the name of his sailboat) the last 2.2 miles. 

When the next step isn't clear and the tears come I know there will be a way.  As my dad said in an email the morning of the accident, "The Future Is Bright."  My mom has moved to Arizona for a year to go to film school - with of course the ultimate goal being to produce a film.  The film will be a documentary on safety for cyclists, distracted drivers, and most importantly saving lives.  The "Sorry mate, I didn't see you" excuse should not be plausible for taking a human life or severely injuring someone and it all to often is.  There is a long list of people who have been killed or severely injured while cycling and following the rules of the road - some were even targeted by the drivers.  Names you might recognize affected by this include:  Bradley Wiggins (2012 TdF Champion) - Hit November 2012, Sarah McLarty (Pro Triathlete) - Father killed 2011, Levi Leipenheimer (Pro Cyclist) - Hit, Bob Breedelove - Killed during RAAM.  This is only a small sampling of more notable people who have been in this type of accident.  This happens everyday all across America.  As driver's we all need to be more aware and share the road.  

In order to produce this documentary my mom is starting a fundraising project.  Below is a guest post from her and a link to the official fundraising page.  

End Distracted Driving Now-Save Lives!

My husband was killed July 27, 2011 by a distracted driver!

     Hello, My name is Judith Finneren.  My husband of almost 37 years was killed by a distracted driver July 27, 2011, while riding his bicycle.  We have 2 children, ages 25 and 30, whom I had to call the night the accident happened, and tell them what happened to their father.  I never want to hear that gut wrenching scream of pain from my daughters voice again and the dead silence of my son!
     My campaign is extremely important to me, so that not one other family has to experience the pain, loss and tragedy we did!  As I am creating this documentary film, I am also healing the pain of loss and helping to make the world a safer place for bicyclists.  As a contributor to my campaign, you will be part of helping my family heal the pain of loss, while increasing awareness and making the world a safer place for bicyclists.
     I need $5,000 to help produce this documentary film.  The money will be used to travel to various locations, such as Michigan, where the accident occurred, and Washington D.C. where several safe bike paths exist.  Interviews will take place with several organizations that work towards ending distracted driving and increasing bike safety.  Interviews with families of people killed while bicycling and injured bicyclists will be shown in the film.  I will need to pay a production crew with lights, camera and sound to travel.  Food, lodging and travel expenses would be funded by your contributions.  This film will touch your heart and soul!  It is a human interest story.  It is real.  It happened to my family.  
     If I do not reach my entire goal, the funds I do receive will help create the film anyway.  I may not be able to do all I want to in the film if all funds are not received, but it will still be created, produced, touch peoples lives and make a difference!  You may not be able to contribute financially and that is okay.  Please get the word out and share, make noise about this campaign-you will be touched and changed, and so will the world!