Saturday, March 12, 2011

Remembering a Remarkable Woman

I celebrated my grandmother's life today with family and friends at the Central Philadelphia Friends Meeting. Margaret Hope Bacon was quite a woman. From her work to abolish slavery, social activism, academic successes, to her blueberry pies and lasagna, she touched many people's lives. I'm kind of honored and a little proud to be her granddaughter.

I feel like I've only begun to get to know her better since her recent death on Feb. 24. She would have turned 90 on April 7th of this year.

Grandma combined writing with social activism. She wrote over 17 books, was active in the women's movement, abolotion society, and more. She traveled all over the world, from Africa to Europe, China, and Australia. I feel inspired by her, and hope that I can begin to transform some of that inspiration into action, writing, and perhaps pass it on to others.

She was a woman who was frank, stern, determined, graceful, intelligent, and committed to doing the right thing, and inspire others to work to make the world a better place.

I hope to continue some of her traditions, and learn more about her, and the rest of the Bacon family. I am so grateful to be a part of such an amazing family (as Omar likes to say, the "Quaker Kennedy's"), and friends as well.

I'm currently on the plane now, on my way back to California, and then to Nicaragua tomorrow. Most of my blogs have been about athletics, but I've been thinking a lot about my grandma today. I'll just finish by adding two quick athlete related things because they're also on my mind.

My grandma could probably swim in cold water longer than I could. And until she was about 84 or so, she still swam in the cold Taunton Bay on Maine. Out when the tide was high to the sail boat, and back to shore. I used to go with her during the summers.

I was a little bummed to miss the second memorial service planned for her tomorrow at Crosslands, where my grandpa still lives. All of the rest of my family is there, and I absolutely love it when we are all together. It makes me feel so happy, alive, grateful, and complete. But, I had to get dropped off at the airport, as I am flying back to San Francisco now, and then tomorrow to Nicaragua. I was too tired this morning to run, so I figured I'd run at the airport. I've only ever really gotten a good run at Oakland airport. Years ago, also in Houston, but it's been a while. So, I feel pretty good physically now. I got dropped off at 4:15 for a 6 PM flight. Coming in to Philly two days ago, I thought I might do this, and noticed that all of the carts to hold luggage (which I always scrounge around for, and would never rent) were the kind that you have to press the handle down to make them go forward. But, just as I went in the door today, I was stoked to find a cart that was the kind you didn't have to push down on to make it go forward, just push ahead of you as you ran behind it.

So, I loaded up my carry on, computer, and bag with food on it, found a bathroom, changed into my running clothes and shoes, took the elevator up, walked over to the parking garage, took the elevator to the top of the C terminal parking garage and ran around for an hour (I think it ended up being 7.5 miles or so). I came down, went thru security, got some coffee (and yes donuts) from Dunkin Donuts, boarded the plane, got some clothes, went into the bathroom and changed (it's a little small and a little cramped to change in a bathroom on the plane), washed up a little, put on some deodorant, asked for some water for my bottle, took some insulin, ate, put on my compression socks, and sat down (and discovered free internet service onboard). I'm not sure if it's a mistake or what, or if I'll get a huge bill, but it's pretty cool. Okay, I feel a little self-congratulatory, and happy with myself, but maybe I just want to share it all because it was pretty cool.

At any rate, here I am, processing it all still, nervous about the St. George race being less than 2 months away, not having gotten in barely any long bike rides, traveling a lot (5 trips since the end of January), reflecting on my grandma, feeling a little sad about leaving my family, but at least physically I feel better after running. And blood sugar is 216 and dropping. By the way, I got a Dexcom, and it's pretty amazing. That's a continuous glucose monitoring device. WAY cool. More about that and other airport running later. Signing off from 35,000 feet or so.