Day 21 – Ride Across America for GTG, Rest Day in Springfield,IL

Sometimes my daughter will share what she worked on with the grief counselor at school, and then we all talk about it as a family.  It becomes a way we can process our grief together – vital for us to move forward.                                  – GTG Parent



For me, the above quotation speaks to the heart of the matter for a child grieving the loss of a family member or classmate. Their grief and loss is a personal, complex and long lasting experience, but it affects the people around them as well. For some family members, they may not be able to help the child if they themselves are also grieving. For others, they may not have the experience and wisdom to help a child process the thoughts and emotions of grief – at the child’s stage of development. So, as in the quotation above, Growing Through Grief counselors help support the grieving child and, indirectly, help the family members as they interact with each other and manage their grief as well. We are so fortunate to have this unique program for our school aged children.

Thankfully, today we can rest, catch up on necessities like laundry, buy supplies for the bike or ourselves and make good personal choices for food for lunch and dinner! This is the first large town we’ve been in for the past three states and I’m looking forward to a good fish dinner and vegetables! I will also check out the Lincoln Presidential Museum and family home.

At Rap yesterday, Mike, our team lead, introduced plans for our last day. We will have a small banquet, a slide show presentation selected from the many photos he’s taken of us and a chance for each rider to say goodbye. The next morning, I will have my bike boxed up and shipped back home.

The technical issue for the video has been resolved. Please see yesterday’s Relive video below. Then, please scroll down for a few more photos.

Having fun in Texas.

11 thoughts on “Day 21 – Ride Across America for GTG, Rest Day in Springfield,IL”

  1. Glad you’re getting the rest. Enjoy the Lincoln museum and home. Susan and I enjoyed both of them some years ago. You should be feeling much better by tomorrow. Have a great day tomorrow.


  2. Jeff, I’ve been “binge-reading/watching” your summaries the past few days. Great descriptions and wonderful photos. Also, your quotes at the start each day are so enlightening. Your determination to make it through long days on the road are truly inspiring. Being a very amateur bike rider, with only a single 100 mile ride under my belt, I’m amazed how you ride that far day after day in very challenging conditions. But you are doing it for a fantastic cause. Keep up the amazing work. Godspeed the rest of the way!


    1. Thank you, Paul, I appreciate your generous and wise support! I know that the ride is taking a toil on me – but I also know that I will miss it when I’m done! What a lovely way to see the backroads of this great country.
      I look forward to seeing you when I return. Take care!


  3. Jeff – I was struck by the photo of you overlooking the valley, about to head down the “rollercoaster” ride in front of you. It’s a great photo and it hit me that this photo may also depict how our children feel as they begin the unknown ride we call “grief”. There’s a distinguishable knot in my stomach as I imagine you beginning your ride down the hill and I could feel the wind and a touch of fear as I imagined if your brakes failed you.
    You are bringing visibility to Growing Through Grief, and hope to others as you share information about grief sensitivity, support and resources. Stay strong. Take care of yourself —- and we’ll celebrate soon all whose paths you have crossed.


    1. Cindy, Thank you for your email. Yes, the rollercoaster ride you describe is an apt analogy for GTG. Starting down the hill, just as one starts the process of grieving, one has a sense of self and where one has been. But, it is a frightening road, full of unknowns and without real control to protect oneself from mishap or worse. Although it must to taken alone -the advice of experts and the support of others on the road helps to reduce anxiety and improve outcomes. Each road is unique and even if traveling the same road/the same path there are different variables for each ride.
      Actually, during my ride, I am more concerned that an animal, person or object may suddenly appear on the road and I will hit it rather than have a loss of brakes.
      It is an honor for me to ride for GTG, to raise money ( I need to cultivate relationships with big donors 🙂 ) and awareness for an important program. I know I would use the service if I was still a school aged child and suffered a loss.

      Please share the blog throughout your social network. The larger the audience, the greater the opportunity to raise money for the program!
      Take care!


  4. Jeff – I love all the posts. So happy you are getting a day of rest and some tail winds the last few days. I can almost smell the flowers in your descriptions. Thanks for sharing the ride with us – you are doing great and the “last leg” is upon us. Cheering for you and Growing Through Grief always! Nicole


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