Monday, May 2, 2016

A Catching-Up Mix

I cannot believe that May is already here. On one hand, I've longingly waited for this month to arrive through winter and early spring, but on the other it seems as though the first portion of the year has flown by. I am grateful that even though we are still receiving occasional snow, it's not sticking to the roadways for long and before I know it, the temperatures will be so high I'll be wishing for a respite from the heat.

This week is shaping up to be a busy one, so I thought I'd do a quick update on happenings and hopefully I'll have the opportunity in between to write the post I'd wanted to type this week for next.

A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to southern Georgia (which I'd noted in a prior post). The reason for the trip was that my father was in the ICU there. He and I have a complicated history, but we didn't speak at all for about 15 years and I hadn't seen him in person until this visit for nearly 20 years. I had debated about whether or not to go, but my step mother felt strongly that he likely wouldn't make it home as he was extremely frail and suffering from numerous issues that wouldn't be resolved. Since she is a retired nurse, I figured she knew what she was saying and booked a flight the following day.
I don't have many photos of me and dad together - This one is probably from around 1993.
Initially, I thought I'd go into the hospital, see him for a couple of hours and then spend my days roaming the area, checking in occasionally as needed. I even thought maybe I'd have the opportunity to ride a bike while there, but I had no way of knowing what would happen, nor the emotions I'd feel as I stood by his side.

During my four days there, we had the opportunity to talk quite a bit. I ended up staying in his room every day, all day. It was a wonderful chance that not everyone gets in life to say the things that needed to be said and for both of us to find some peace. The day that I had to leave, I knew in my heart it was the last time I would see him. Leaving his side was probably one of the most painful and emotional things I've experienced in quite some time. I cried the entire three and a half hours back to the airport in Atlanta, but I knew he was receiving the best care possible and tried to hold on to hope that I would be able to make another trip to see him soon.

This past Saturday afternoon, almost exactly a week to the minute of my departure, dad passed away peacefully in the hospital. It's been difficult to come to terms with everything and not have regrets about the time that was lost. I am so grateful though that we had the opportunity to clear the air and know that we both loved each other regardless of the things that took place in the past.

I bring this up only to remind anyone who reads here that it's so important to forgive and move on. I know that there are things that happen that seem (and often are) unforgivable, but there are few that should keep us from the ones we love. I know for me, I needed time, but I am also aware that I drug things out longer than I should have and I missed out on valuable moments because there was a small part of me that couldn't let go of the past. If you've been at odds with family or friends, I hope that you'll use this as an opportunity to make amends and tell them that you love them.

On a more bike-centered note, while we've been living through a couple of spring snow storms, Sam has been building up a second hand mountain bike for me. I've been a bit leery of mountain biking over the years, but this one actually seems to fit decently. The frame that was picked up a couple of years ago was a bit large, and this one seems to have much better stand over, so I'm looking forward to trying it out soon (other than up and down the block).

I suspect most of its use will be on dirt roads and the like, but who knows what may come from it? I plan to be able to share more about it in the coming weeks and months.

For locals, I am also looking forward to a new bike shop opening up in town. Longmont isn't exactly overflowing with choices when it comes to bike shops, and we are very excited to see that the new LBS should be opening (knock on wood - as they've had several delays with construction and permits) around the middle of May.

If you're interested in learning about what they'll be carrying, you can find more at Long Mont Velo's website. I'm also hoping to do an interview with the owners soon (they've understandably had a very hectic schedule), so hopefully we can get a little more information about what they hope to achieve with the shop.

Hopefully, you are enjoying lots of bikey goodness with spring upon us. I'd love to hear about your adventures this spring, so feel free to share them. If you completed (or tried to complete) April's 30-days of biking challenge, I'd love to hear how that went as well.

8 comments:

  1. My deepest condolences for your loss. Yes, you were both given an amazing gift to make amends, and I'm sure your father experienced greater peace on his way. All the best.

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    1. Thank you, and yes, I agree... a wonderful gift to be able to have those last days to talk things out.

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  2. I'm so sorry for your loss, but grateful that you had those last few days together. Thank you for sharing the the story.

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    1. I am so grateful too, Kendra. Thank you.

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  3. G.E., I am so sorry. But so pleased you seized the opportunity to go see him and that he was receptive. Adam's dad died suddenly and unexpectedly two weeks ago. They were on very good terms and, while sad, Adam has no regrets. But the experience has prompted him to resolve to do what he can to mend the longstanding rift between him and his brother. Live life to the full and love with all your heart. That's the answer, isn't it. Sorry this is a sad time for you. I send a "virtual hug".

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    1. Thank you for the hug, Rebecca. Please send my condolences to Adam (and to you as well). I don't think it's ever easy, but I hope Adam is able to mend things with his brother. It's unfortunate, but sometimes when things like this happen it becomes a little easier to find common ground.

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  4. G.E. my heart goes out to you. I'm glad you were able to spend some time with your dad before he passed away and find some common ground. It's never easy to say goodbye. May you find a measure of peace. Give it time. Hugs to you.

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    1. Thank you, Annie. I'm grateful to have had some time with him as well.

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