You will always be with me…

Dear Family, Friends and SCUDFRIES Supporters,

I have tried over and over to write something about Dad…yet I am still stuck.

My heart is happy for his peace but I am still so sad he is gone. I am moved by all of you for reaching out to us. Thank you for comforting us and supporting us during his funeral services and this difficult time. I have so much I want to share with you about Dad and our family, but it will have to come out of my heart when I am a little stronger. Thank you for loving my dad and for all your thoughts and prayers.

Here is a poem that reflects where I am at right now and fills my heart with hope. Struggling through the cold winter and rainy days, I try to mourn his passing with grace and strength. May you too find comfort in these words.

Love,

Jen “Scudamore” Rodriguez

Your Spirit – A Tribute to My Father
by Tram-Tiara T. Von Reichenbach

I know that no matter what
You will always be with me.
When life separates us
I’ll know it is only your soul
Saying goodbye to your body
But your spirit will be with me always.
When I see a bird chirping on a nearby branch
I will know it is you singing to me.
When a butterfly brushes gently by me so care freely
I will know it is you assuring me you are free from pain.
When the gentle fragrance of a flower catches my attention
I will know it is you reminding me
To appreciate the simple things in life.
When the sun shining through my window awakens me
I will feel the warmth of your love.
When I hear the rain pitter patter against my window sill
I will hear your words of wisdom
And will remember what you taught me so well’
That without rain trees cannot grow
Without rain flowers cannot bloom
Without life’s challenges I cannot grow strong.
When I look out to the sea
I will think of your endless love for your family.
When I think of mountains, their majesty and magnificence
I will think of your courage for your country.
No matter where I am
Your spirit will be beside me
For I know that no matter what
You will always be with me.

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A tale of two bikes… and lots of kids

I waited to write. I don’t know why, telling stories is one of my things.

I’ve told dozens of stories about the kids in TrailsforYouth.Org’s program over and over again and they bring tears to eyes, mostly mine. But I’ve never told the story of TYO and Scud.

I guess I could tell the story about him being president of TYO’s board for years, or his role as superman at our festivals, or how he showed me to run races years ago or to work a grill at our camping trips. Heck he even gave me his grill, but people know these stories, all part of the Scud Lore.

So instead I’ll tell the story of two small blue Cannondales, TYO has had these particular bikes for about 6 years or so. They are still two of our best bikes, great for kids. Hundreds of children have learned to bike safely and race using these bikes, including one of my sons. One of these bikes helped a girl on suicide watch get herself back together, after her mother died. Carolina Rivas became a champion on one of these bikes and her little brother is following in her foot steps on the same bike.

ScudMan!

Scud was an important part of the TYO Family.

We have about 40 bikes in the TYO fleet, but these bikes are special. They stand out, they are a little better than everything else we have, the kids flock to them and they are usually the first ones picked if given the choice. They have been hauled around, ridden hard and dropped more than once, but they are durable, special and loved. They’ve outlasted most of our other bikes and will be around for a long time continuing to make a difference… sounds kinda familiar doesn’t it?

That would make sense because about 6 years ago, some guy named Scud won a Cannondale 29er as a prize for some reason or another, and when asked what size he wanted he bargained for two small blue Cannondales in lieu of the 29er for himself. Scud has never ridden either of these bikes yet, but some of him has definitely rubbed off on them and on the hundreds of kids who he continues to help in so many ways.

Thank you for helping give them and TYO a voice.

Pat Childers

Dearest friends, family, and “Scud” supporters

Our hearts are heavier today than at any point since Scott’s accident on September 22nd. For the past 10 days, Scott’s struggle to overcome his injuries sustained on that day had progressively worsened as he battled infection, some bouts with delirium, and ultimately pneumonia. It is with incredible sadness that we must tell you that Scott succumbed to his injuries early this morning. A beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, friend, compatriot, leader and inspiration has left us here on earth and is now among the other angels in Heaven.

We have spent the day today making final arrangements and want to invite you to say farewell to Scott and join us in a celebration of this man and his life.

There will be two viewings at Thacker Brothers Lake Monticello Funeral Home (138 Heritage Dr., Palmyra, VA 22963).

The first will take place on Friday, January 3rd, 2014, from 6 PM – 8 PM.

The second will take place on Saturday, January 4th, 2014, from 9 AM – Noon.

A funeral service will follow the viewing on Saturday at 3PM at Grace And Glory Lutheran Church (683 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Palmyra, VA 22963).

We welcome you to join us as we bid farewell to Scott. And we thank you for all the love, support, hope and prayers you have given us throughout this entire ordeal. While we are weak and in great pain now, we know that Scott is no longer suffering and is in a better place, and we will become stronger and the pain will subside with time, your support and God’s love. And we also know that the very reason Scott touched all of your lives is because you are such incredibly special people. We were all blessed to have him on this earth and in our lives. His purpose is now fulfilled in Heaven, in the hands and with the mercy of God.

Bless you all,
The Scudamores


A graveside service will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Monday, January 6, 2014 at Quantico National Cemetery in Triangle, VA.


In lieu of flowers the Scudamores would like you to please make a donation to one of Scott’s favorite charities, Trails for Youth or the Lake Monticello Volunteer Rescue Squad.

You in Your Scud Jersey

Do you have a picture of you wearing one of Scud’s Jerseys? Then please Share it with us. If you don’t have a Scud jersey? Then order one! Did you get an “I Ride For Team SCUD” Sticker? Show where you stuck it!

The Stories I could tell…

volvo-2

Scud and I have been to many places together, and out of ALL his friends, I’m the one he’s likely spent the most time with.

He held and cradled me early in my life. I was born in 2004, and since then, he’s cared for me meticulously as I aged. He made sure I always had my fluids checked and always performed my scheduled maintenance; sometimes, he also gave me a little extra love and detailed and decorated me with cool cycling stickers.

I, in turn, have been faithful and highly dependable for him (I am after all a Volvo), always there when he needed me. And still here today.

He’s been in me (take your mind out of the gutter please) thousands of times, and together we’ve logged a little over 127,000 miles. We’ve headed north, south, east and west countless of times in search of adventure, and often found it.

I carried his bikes, sometimes three of them, and a kayak on my roof. And, in my spacious trunk I held all his junk 😉

I was with him on September 22nd, and unfortunately, that has been the last time we were together.

I miss him.

I also know that our time together is quickly coming to an end and that soon I’ll have to move on and share the next phase of my life with someone else. It’s my hope that it’s with someone who shares Scott’s and my passion and zeal for adventure.

I want my racks staked with bikes again, I can take 2
I want to to carry Kayaks again, I can take 3!
I want to ferry my new owner to new destinations and share in her (or his) adventures, My engine and underbody have been thoroughly inspected and are good to go.
I want to visit all the trail and lake heads Scott took me to while we were together once again, I have 127,000 miles but have lots to go.

I know Scott wants me to keep going and would prefer that I end up with someone who shares his since for adventure.

Over the course of the last month he’s made sure that I have received all kinds of extra care. I’ve been tuned, detailed, checked and re-checked and i’m ready to make someone else happy.

Could that be you? I sure hope so, because the last thing I want is to be placed on craigs list where some weirdo will take me away and never show me another trailhead; I’d much rather be with someone who knows Scott and understands what I need.

Interested? Then please post a comment below and someone will contact you with the details, including price and my maintenance history, so that you know that when you take me home I’ll give you another 100K+ miles of driving enjoyment.

Choosing Happiness!

 

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Sometimes, I wake up thinking I have been in a three month long dream. Sept changed our lives forever but I still find myself thinking and even saying out loud, “I just can’t believe it”. Those are usually the times when I am in Northern Va attempting to do my normal working mommy routine. Bus stop, errands, work,bus stop, dinner, arrival of daddy, homework, paperwork, war of the showers/bath time, reading and then bed. That’s on the off season of soccer and gymnastics and other after school activities. I love every second of it and know deep in my heart it is what I was made to do. September has changed it all and now I know I was meant for more as well. Bring it on LIFE!!! My Father has done it all plus some. He has been married to Saint Margaret for 41 years, raised his girls with good values, proper amount of work ethic and of course a multitude of FUN time to cap it off. Many of you know him through my childhood, our family, mountain biking, community projects, soccer,softball, biking foundations and racing teams. Some may know him through camping trips, his SCUD fries talent, night rides at Wakefield, beers afterwards. Charlottseville has brought many of you to know him as the one who talks to everybody. That would include LM neighborhood parties, boat rides on the lake, church, rescue squad, swift water rescue, the local Bike shop and many others that I’m not even familiar with. His Facebook addiction alone puts many of you on his life map too! You are all well aware of what kind of guy he is and continues to want to be despite this accident. Someone who is the perfect amount of a “BIG KID”, caring human being, active and generous. He puts his family first and then all of his “good friends”. BTW…that is pretty much everyone. He truly loves all of you and misses seeing everyone’s smiling faces and hugs!

His time at Kessler has had it’s bumpy roads but over all I think he is doing fantastic!!! He looks stronger and more handsome every time I visit. He is learning how to balance the coping skills he needs to live a happy rest of his life at home with the will power , hope and faith that he will grow stronger and regain important functions that will allow him to live an active life. One where he can still participate in the events and activities that he has always had passions for. He is aware it will be a different role for him…but he doesn’t care. He is alive and fighting to stay healthy. He is optimistic that he was placed on this path for a reason. He will never give up and he will never quit being who he is.
When I first read this quote about Life’s Paths, I was struck silent. I couldn’t believe how much it sums up what dad is going through and who dad is, and always has been. I have always known that no matter what, he was a determined man to live the life that he loved. What I hadn’t learned until recently, is just how powerful his heart and soul truly is.

By: Jonathan Lockwood Huie

You can live the life you love-even in the face of the most challenging circumstances. While sometimes it may appear that life throws more obstacles in your path than you can handle, you can always choose to be HAPPY.
YES! You are that powerful.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

Dad is very grateful for being at Kessler. He is grateful for making it off that mountain because of his friends and he is most grateful to still be able to live his life of happiness. You may have noticed that he has posted some silly pictures of himself and our family. He is determined that when you see him, you will be happy for him that he lived and not sad for his predicament. He covers his trach not because he is ashamed or embarrassed but because he wants to shelter his friends and family from the harsh reality of his new path in life.
I’m so proud of my dad on so many levels. It is almost impossible to describe what it is like to spend time with him. He works hard at his therapies, demands the best from the aides, loves his nurses and invites everyone into his room to see all his family pictures and banners that you all have sent to him. He is proud of the life he led with all of you and moved by everyone’s prayers and generosity.

My family and I look forward to seeing him on Christmas day where we will fully intend on dressing up in silly hats, eat pudding, ice cream and sherbet and make new Holiday memories. Currently he is spending some very special time with my sister, Krista. She is in the NAVY and will be deployed out the day after Christmas. I do believe that the four of us are closer than ever and are learning how to bond with each other despite living so far away from one another. Thank you for keeping her in your prayers too as she embarks on a deployment that could keep her away from seeing dad for a long time. They are living it up, laughing and working hard before she leaves so that she can hold dear to heart the times spent with dad this week while she is away.

As Christmas slowly creeps closer we are reminded of the true spirit within all of us. Love has taken over the shadow of sadness that tried to keep us down. In spite of hardships and dark times, we hope and pray for you and your families as well. Thank you all so much for everything you have done to show dad your friendship and love. Thank you for the visits, the cards, the gifts, the encouraging messages and your prayers. May God bring you good health and happiness this Holiday season and always.

Merry Christmas!
~Jen “Scudamore” Rodriguez

Water Rescue – Rookie of the year

Scott Scudamore, Rookie of the Year

Scott Scudamore, Rookie of the Year

Congratulations to Scott – the 2013 Lake Monticello Water Rescue Team Rookie of the Year. Scott’s enthusiasm, natural aptitude and passion for learning made him a no brainer for the award. Scott, in absentia, got the only standing ovation of the evening.

We can’t wait to get you home buddy. Your contributions may look different in the future, but we know you will continue to positively impact the team and more importantly the community.

Congrats Rookie!

Gratitude

Dear Dad,

I can’t believe Thanksgiving has come and gone and now it is Dec 1st. I’m up late tonight, not able to sleep. I’m thinking of you and Mom and I am overwhelmed with such amazing memories of Thanksgiving and a warm heart because of it.
I loved seeing the pictures today of the Christmas Tree that we sent with Carlos and Margaret. Marie and I carefully handpicked those ornaments from past Christmas’s that I know we all hold dear to our hearts. We wanted you to be able to look over and see your own home ornaments and Christmas decor.

This past week has been such a crazy one. As I reflect on all the highs and lows, I can’t help but feel this intense GRATITUDE towards you. We couldn’t go to visit you at Kessler, and that was very disappointing. It didn’t stop me from remembering what Thanksgiving was all about. You weren’t feeling well, we weren’t feeling well, the weather was crazy cold and traffic to Jersey was insane!!!! Instead of being in the dumps, you post pics of how you make the best of a Holiday that most people in your situation would deem not worth celebrating. Your core positive outlook on life never seems to let me down and continues to inspire me every second of the day. You have always been that positive light in my life and nothing has changed. Well, maybe a few things. Because of how you chose to live and explore every new adventure there is to be found…Carl and I (and I’m sure many others) have been effected by your positive light. We have met some incredible people with amazingly huge hearts and even bigger intentions of generosity. Your SCUD ARMY was at it again, led this time by Anne Mader, Christina, Julie, Lynn and many others that I don’t even know about. They not only provided you with a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner spread (which I heard you ate a lot of) but they also showed up early Thanksgiving Day on my doorstep with an amazing Thanksgiving dinner, drinks and desserts! These are all people that Carl and I grateful for because of you. Thank you SCUD’S ARMY! God Bless!

Without you in my life I would be heart broken. I’m so blessed to still have you in my life. You still teach me so much. Even in your toughest hours, you are changing my life. I feel like in the last three months I have learned so much, felt so much and grown so much. My dearest friends have come forward to help us here, your friends are hard working behind the scenes to prepare the perfect house upon your return. I feel a sense of rebirth with some of our family relationships and I am so grateful for that. You are a loved man and I am proud that you are my father.

I have Gratitude for many things. You are one of them!!! Keep fighting to move those thumbs. Keep trying to find the right wheelchair. Keep eating those meals with (5) YES!!! I said FIVE swallows. Don’t forget to be easy on mom when she follows the rules. Your the rebel in the family~She’s the Saint. Remember that. Keep your winning attitude no matter how many steps forward or back that you take. Trust your Doctors, Trust your wife, Trust God.

I love you Dad with all of my heart. Thank you for being you and moving forward no matter how difficult it may be.
The kids and Carl and I miss you very much and soon the day will come where none of us will have the sniffles, Strep throat, watery eyes,mono,the flu or hives. I promise.

Love you, Hugs and kisses!!!!
Jen

The Solitude of Cold

When I woke up today (after working all night) at around noon. I thought, “Man, its cold outside!” I’m sitting here thinking that I was too tired and didn’t wanna go out and ride. I then think that Scud probably would call me about now and he’d talk me into going out for a ride. So I load the bike up and head for Pleasant Grove. When I get there I put on my winter shoes, helmet, and gloves and look at the temperature. Its about 30 degrees out. Its not that cold, in fact I’ve ridden in much colder.

We knew that it was going to snow and were looking forward to it.

We knew that it was going to snow and were looking forward to it.

My thoughts begin to go to a very cold day in January. Scud and I decided to go for a ride on Jan. 25 of this year at Pleasant Grove. We knew that it was going to snow and were looking forward to it. That day at ride time, i believe it was around 20 degrees out. I remember eating lunch with Heather and the kids prior to the ride and her telling me I was nuts for going out to ride. (I remember, Margaret saying the same thing to Scud). We ignored them anyway. I don’t remember the exact route that day but I remember it being one of the most memorable rides of the year. When you say to most people that you’re going to ride your bike in 20 degree weather when its snowing, most people give you a strange look. Its hard to motivate yourself in those conditons much less have someone out there, as crazy as you, out there with you. It is a memory and a ride with a very good friend that I will carry with me forever. To add to the craziness, we even went for a run afterwards.

While riding today, I kept thinking about that day, I thought about the cold today and the cold today, I thought about my friend and smiled. I even looked behind me a couple of times expecting to see Scud behind me and smiling. I began missing my friend, missing our conversations as we rode, sharing in the cold and knowing I was sharing that moment with someone and making what ever conditions were present more bearable. The more I rode today, the more I wanted to ride. I didn’t notice the cold after a bit.

Keep fighting, buddy! You are in my thoughts every day and on every single ride I go on. That day in Jan is one of the many fond memories I have of riding with you.

Rich.

Leaves, Leaves, Leaves!!!

Hello! Dad!

The kids are off to school and I am enjoying looking outside the back window to falling leaves everywhere. I think of you all through the day especially as the Holidays come and I am reminded of how many special moments my heart holds created by you and mom in this very house.

There are moments of raking leaves and having to do chores outside to winterize the yard that come to mind. I wasn’t fond of those times then, but I am now. I get to reflect on the life we had here and how much we did growing up. You gave us such a beautiful life, and still do.

I am so blessed to have you as my father. You inspire me in ways that I can’t explain. I take comfort in the change of season, knowing that time doesn’t stand still, but constantly moves and grows in time. I patiently wait as Thanksgiving comes closer on the calendar so that we can be together again as a family. I can’t wait to see your smile, hold your hands, and give you bad haircuts!

The leaves at Kessler are so vibrant and beautiful and are beginning to fall. Change is in the air all around you and us and I can’t help but feel like all of this was meant to be. I hope you are taking some time for your self to go to the day room and really look outside at your beautiful view of Autumn. Take a moment to really ponder your life’s achievements, and feel the love and support from all around the world for this new journey you are on.

We are always with you in spirit, always missing you, and always loving you.

P.S. If it’s crappy weather there… I’m sorry! lol!

Just try to remember all the fun fall days here in Montclair that mom would scream at you to stop watching football, get off the couch and rake leaves! (After your 8am bike ride of course).

Love, jen