I'm not even going to try. I'm just going to let the tears fall as they come.
But the lost is found.
My dad and mom bought each of us kids a mountain bike when we were 14.
Biking was always an important part of our lives. Especially of dad's life.
I remember going shopping for my bike with my dad.
We didn't get the bike until a few months after my 14th birthday because my day falls in the winter months.
We went to a bicycle shop in Medina and roamed the store.
I sat on so many bikes, trying to pick out the best one.
Dad gave his input and his advice.
After all, he loved to ride bike.
Fast forward 7 years.
I was 21.
I lost my father.
My best friend.
I moved out of the house in with some friends.
Taking my bike with me...or so I thought.
When I moved from those apartments I realized my bike was not in the garage like I thought it was.
I assumed it stolen.
For 10 years I have silently mourned the loss of my bike. The bike that meant so much to me because Dad helped me pick it out. Because I knew how much biking meant to him.
Fourth of July weekend my mom decides to clean out her little barn out back.
My brother in law climbed up into the loft and found a pile of bikes.
My sister texted me this picture:
My bike had been found. It never was moved to Medina. It never was stolen. It was never lost.
I realize it is just a thing. Just a piece of metal. But this bike holds so many memories for me.
I felt like it was a little gift from my dad (again) after 10 years of being without him or the bike.
Tonight I was at moms and decided to check it out.
I opened the little barn doors, anxious to see the bike.
What I saw took my breath away.
There. Propped up in the back was my dad's bicycle.
The one he rode to train. The one he rode for Pedal to the Point.
For about 10 years my dad rode 150 miles in two days to support Multiple Sclerosis.
Once I asked him why he would do this.
He stood there, with tears in his eyes, and said "I have two friends battling MS. I don't know what else I can do to help them." That was the heart of my dad.
On the bike I found a tag. With a number on it.
I snagged it and took it with me.
I'm assuming this was from the year 2000. The last year he rode for Pedal to the Point.
Pedal to the Point is always in August.
And he died in March of 2001.
While my dad had his shortcomings and his failures, he was my hero.
He is everything I hope to be someday.
Everyone was his friend. No one was a stranger.
He could make anyone feel special. And important.
He had so many qualities. Qualities that I hope I can nurture.
I know he made his mistakes. But I just want to remember his achievements for what they were and for who he really was.
I can't wait to get my bike to a bike shop and get it repaired.
I can't wait to get on my bike and go for a long ride. Alone.
To ride fast and have the wind rush by me.
To remember. And smile. And be thankful.