We survived COVID. We kept to our running and biking and friendships. I skipped the Tuesday night Zooms because my days at work are filled up with Zoom calls and I didn’t have the patience for the one-at-a-time report-outs that Zoom requires and the inevitable lags and echos that disrupt the normal banter and cross-talk of our F2F conversations.
Finally, only a few weeks ago, we resumed our in person runs in the park. Our first Saturday run and coffee and the first Tuesday night run and pizza (although this time on a Monday night) since the pandemic began. I rarely stay awake past 8:30 and always run in the morning, but I made an exception to celebrate – and did a couple of miles with my running friends.
Jerry was my anchor. A wise, warm and generous man. We talked of business, books, politics and fitness. He had decades of successful entrepreneurial experience, which he shared freely. I could always count on him for wise advice on a knotty work challenge or client issue.
And although I don’t know them as well, his family is every bit as wise and warm as he is.
Not so long ago, I confided in Jerry that I was afraid to ride my bike outside. I want to. I used to love long bike rides, but now I’m afraid of an accident or a fall. No particular reason. Except maybe my Peleton obsession, which began on October 30, 2020, when my new Peleton bike arrived. I’m so strong and fast on the Peleton, but worry about the clipping and unclipping on a bike outdoors. I’m not graceful. What if my feet get stuck? What if I’m on a hill and a pack of racers comes from behind and swells past me?
Jerry said he’d take me on a ride. We’d go up Riverside Drive, across the GW bridge. We had a planned afternoon ride – just in the park on a weekday. I blocked it out on my calendar. But something came up.
Then, the accident. Jerry fell after a 63-mile bike trip, only blocks from his home. Fell. They put him in an induced coma. The Pizza Runners kept in touch with updates. When he gets out of the coma, I think we may have to wait months before going on that bike ride. He’ll need to recover.
Then, this morning I woke up to the devastating note from Ross. He’s not getting out of the coma. Too much bleeding; too much swelling. The brain is such an amazing organ. His especially. So far ranging, so perceptive. Such a truly good person.
Jerry, you brought joy, camaraderie and wisdom to our band of aging runners. Peace be with you and all those who loved you.