Today is March 23, which in our family is a day that lives in infamy. It’s been fifteen years to the day that my dad, my namesake, the other Ted King in my life, suffered a stroke. I won’t go deep into writing about it, because even just a cursory search I see that I’ve already touched upon it here, here, here, here, here, and here. Probably elsewhere too. I like to keep iamtedking lighthearted so I don’t often wax too poetic, but tend to do so about Dad; I encourage you to skim some of those for a glimmer of brain injured life.
Here’s an image of dad in 1985 at the age of 39. Good gravy, in all my years with him I’ve never seen him don an ascot! What a baller in his younger days, not to mention this picture shows him wheeling and dealing and throwing money around.
Okay, he’s not actually throwing money around, because that would be wasteful. Dad is one of the most abstemious and least wasteful people you’ll ever meet.
Here is dad in a much more recent photo at the age of 69. He rides a three wheeled bike because he has no feeling on the left side of his body, rendering it virtually paralyzed. But we can strap his foot to the pedal, wrap his hand to the bars, and let him pedal to his heart’s content.
Here’s another. Try to defeat his spirts, he’s as optimistic as they come.
So here we are today fifteen years after this cataclysmic day. Eight years ago we created the King Challenge, a ride to benefit the Krempels Center which, along with my caregiving mom, has been the cornerstone to dad feeling like a normal person again. Every day presents its challenges and hardships, but the King Challenge is the most upbeat day on a bike I’ve ever experienced. I hope you can come experience it too.
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He doesn’t wear an ascot anymore, but dad’s still super cool. You wouldn’t argue with these shades, would you?