I had the honor of having lunch with someone very special today. I got to spend some time with Robert, Harry's Dad of The Adventure's of Harry. Robert and I have been in contact since last February when Harry's Mom, Dena, was taken from this earth way too early because of breast cancer.
Dena and I had met through our blogs and our dogs, and she'd even become a member of my Golden Retriever Meetup group! She'd enjoyed seeing the pictures of all of the meetups here in San Diego, having had lived in San Diego previously, and had hoped to one day come an event. Unfortunately, she never got that chance, and we never got to meet in person.
But whether we'd met in person or not, I consider Dena my friend and an undeniable source of strength and encouragement for me. When I walked those 60+ miles on the 3 Day, I walked with 2 pictures of her with me. When I thought I couldn't make it up Torrey Pines hill, I told myself that Dena would be proud of me if I didn't stop.
When it was raining down buckets all day that Saturday, I didn't think of stopping, not once, because I kept reminding myself that walking in the rain was nothing compared to what Dena had gone through during her struggle.
When we finished on day 3, I took my shoes off and raised them up to the heavens and thought to myself, "look Dena, I finished. Me, and my pink shoes walked every step for you." I don't know if I could have finished those 3 days without Dena, and I'd never even met her.
That's just the impact that some people have on your life. Dena has had that impact on my life. I can only imagine the impact she has had on her husband Robert.
I was so excited and nervous at the same time to finally be meeting him. I knew it would be an emotional time for me, but I promised myself I would try my best not to get weepy. I did pretty good. We knew each other immediately from our pictures, and we had a lovely conversation. I was just so happy to finally meet this wonderful, warm, charming, caring man, who loved my friend Dena so much. It made my heart happy, and ache at the same time. Happy to feel that connection directly to her through him, and ache for his loss. He deserved so much more time with her.
Our time together today went quickly, and Robert heads home to the Boston area tomorrow. I am hoping that this will be the first of many lunches, BBQs, etc. that we get to share in the years to come.
No matter what, I will cherish the time we had today, and I thank Dena for sharing her wonderful family with me. I truly feel honored.