Sunday, October 25, 2009

Walking for Felix

Still nurturing our sadness over, my husband, Felix' passing last month, the extended family decided to walk the Missouri/ Kansas chapter of the National Kidney Foundation walk and raise money for the organization. Masterminded by Dr. Vic Quiason, (with his obsessive sense of organization) and his wife Cathy, Team Quiason quickly gained momentum and within three weeks had signed up over 20 walkers. The modest goal of $500.00 was quickly topped by friends of Rob Quiason who contributed $800.00 in two days.

Walk day was on Saturday. Friends from out of town came as did nieces and nephews who came home from college. Cathy provided Team Quiason tee shirts. It had been raining and chilly all week but surprise, surprise, Saturday morning was sunny, cool and nice. The walking trail circled a small lake behind Bass Pro Shop in Independence, Missouri. Fall was in full regalia with red, yellow, and brown foliage all throughout the path. I could see Felix' hand in making sure that the ambiance was just right for this walk. It was perfect although I'm sure he had many comments on how it could have been better.

The walk started at a snail's pace as hundreds of walkers got in line, prompting Vic to comment, "Even Felix could have walked this walk." No, he couldn't have because Felix had this thing about when he'd had enough he would just up and leave. He would have stayed where he was (insisting I stay with him as well) and waited for the rest to get back. Just like when he played golf, he always had nephew Blake on call to take over for him at the 4th or 5th hole or whichever hole he decided his golf game ended.

Felix' connection to us all still amazes me. The children and I reminisce on the camping trips where we got rained on because we forgot the tent poles, fishing trips, concerts he dragged the children to, taking Emilie then in grade school and barely able to do math to ham radio classes with him and all manner of activity that have suddenly become precious because in some small way, it also defined us. Nieces, nephews, sibling, in-laws, friends, all have memories of some Felix-ism which have become part of our family's collective memory.

We have big plans for next year's walk. Cathy wants to add Felix' picture to the Team Quiason tee shirts. We plan to top this year's pledge and sign up more walkers. My suggestion to adjourn to a casino buffet and then challenge the one arm bandits is gaining wide enthusiasm. (Not a Felix thing because he couldn't stand cigarette smoke.) It will be a bigger Felix event because walking for Felix is walking for ourselves.

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