Thursday, July 26, 2012
I wanted to take a minute to tell everyone why I'm cycling in the 24 Hours of Booty to benefit various organization fighting against cancer. It's not just that a good friend of mine talked me into it. My reason is Elinor Reicker, the grandmother I'm named after whom I 've never met. She was known as Nora. She died of lymphatic cancer in 1969 when my mother was only 16. My mother told me stories about her as I was growing up, sometimes we would cry together, her for the loss of a mother and me for the loss of ever knowing her. I have photographs and stories. My grandmother started nursing school during World War II, thinking to join the war effort. The war ended too soon, but she became a nurse.
She married my grandfather, an eccentric English professor. They raised a daughter and two sons together. My mother was the oldest and when my grandmother was sick from the cancer treatments she started to assume responsibility for feeding her younger brothers and father. My mom told me how one time she cooked a special meal and her mother was very ill. Nora tried to eat but just couldn't.
Nora spent time in bed writing poems. I read them years ago; a mix of melancholy and upbeat poems that seem to capture her personality in her final years. She was sick for a long time and knew she would not make it. She had her body donated to research, so that her death could in some way benefit others. A final selfless act.
I like to think the world is a better place because she lived. Part of why I do sustainable architecture is growing up hearing about her belief in making the world better. I'm no nurse, but I'd like to help, and a 50 mile bike ride is a small thing for a big cause.
Please visit my donation page at and give a little. Every donation helps! Thank you. www.24hoursofbooty.org/g