2001 Christmas Letter
It seems almost trite to say by now, but after September 11, the hope of Christmas is even more important this year. We hope and pray that this season will be meaningful and uplifting to all of you and your families.
The last year was difficult for us for other reasons as well. Alan’s father, Harvey, died on July 20. We got the call just as Alan returned home from work that Friday afternoon. Harvey passed away at the hospital while Alan was on a plane to Portland, Oregon -- Alan learned of Harvey’s death when he reached the hospital. The next day, he started helping his stepmother, Gerry, complete the funeral arrangements that Harvey had preplanned to a great degree. Cheryl, and Alan’s brother, Bryce, arrived a couple of days later. Alan wrote the obituary and wrote and gave a remembrance at Harvey’s funeral, a very difficult task emotionally.
Then on September 1, a coworker Alan’s age who had worked right next to him for the last year, died in a motorcycle accident. Then came September 11.
There was good news as well last year. Cheryl and Alan did indeed complete the Los Angeles Marathon on March 4. We ran together and the 26.2 miles took us 5 hours and 15 minutes. It was a great experience to run through so many different neighborhoods of Los Angeles with crowds of cheering spectators all the way. It turns out that Alan got Cheryl through the training for this, her first marathon.
But Cheryl got Alan through the actual race, marathon number 21 but the first since 1991. Alan was felled by leg cramps and reduced to walking most of the last 6 miles. Had she not held herself back to encourage her hurting husband, Cheryl would have finished in under 5 hours. In spite of this, our finishing place was about 8300 out of 21000 starters – not bad for a couple of over 50 year olds. We are now retired from marathon running – the training is too demanding and the recovery too slow. But we still run a lot and will keep doing 10Ks.
We had a nice vacation in Hawaii (1 week in April) and in the Sierra (Mammoth and Lake Tahoe – 2 weeks in August). Alan reveled in the chance to play with his new toy – a combined digital video camera and digital still camera.
Cheryl’s personal CD, “In the Mornin’,” has been released (by us). With piano accompaniment, she sings a recital of sacred songs, including hymns, art songs, and spirituals. She did the recording as scheduled the weekend that Alan was in Portland before she flew there to help (Alan insisted that she go ahead with the recording). If anyone would like to purchase a copy, please contact us.
Cheryl’s continues teaching at home, solo performing, and performing with her vocal group, Zephyr. Alan continues rewarding and meaningful work at TRW. And we both continue to be nurtured by our extended family at Riviera United Methodist Church. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Alan and Cheryl