Saturday, January 31

It's all relative, isn't it?

If what happened last Sunday, had happened many years ago, say 25 years ago, before my daughter was born, or before I was born, I'd probably think of it as a personal tragedy. But it didn't happy many years ago, it happened on Sunday, January 25th, a most fitting day for a woman whose 94 years on this earth was lived piously and devoted to family, church and community. My maternal grandmother, who lived more than two decades after my grandfather died, departed this earth quietly, peacefully and with the full knowledge that she was loved deeply. She always loved Sundays for it was the day that she didn't mind spending in church--all day in church! Grandma spent her life executing her beliefs.

I am among the privileged who lived with my grandparents during some formative years of my life. She is the last of the four grandparents I was fortunate to know fully.  My many conversations with her and my unconditional devotion, respect and love for this woman, make this a poignant occasion; but it is not paralyzingly sad like I used to think it would be whenever I thought of her dying when I was young.  

Today is the celebration of  her humble, long life. I will remember her stories about growing up at a time when opportunities were denied people and women like her. She was a fabulous arm-chair historian who would tell me, "I didn't read this in a book, I lived it."  I remember when I was young and she made me come in the house, right in the middle of a serious game of double dutch, to watch and listen to some preacher-man give an "important" and "historic" speech.  I was mad because this fouled up my jump rope game.  Today, it is only because of her that I now can say I saw Martin Luther King deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech on television.  In hindsight, I recall how I settled down and enjoyed getting swept up in the collective euphoria and energy of my relatives who cheered and commented on the speech in all the right places.   

I will always remember that she smiled and her eyes brightened when I told her, four years ago, that I had a motorcycle.  She never distrusted my judgment. Her passing was inevitable and as she used to say, "it happens to the best of us and to the worst of us."  It is indeed a celebration. 

I am blessed and fortunate to have had her in my life.  The way I see it, I will ride this, and all the seasons to come with another angel to accompany me and hep light the way. 

Wednesday, January 14

We're ready--Almost!

Jesse Owens is nearing completion. Yay!!

A small nick I had on the right side of the bike (unrelated to the accident) is also being repaired. Chicago BMW estimated that it would cost $600 to replace the entire panel (my desire). I chomped on the bullet and ordered the panel. When the replacement panel finally arrived from BMW (Germany), it was damaged! Back it went. Glad I asked Morton BMW in VA, where Jesse's been since October, for an estimate. Their quote was $100 less than Chicago BMW. Morton also told me about a guy they "highly" recommend, who does repair and detail work. I went with him and saved a few bucks--and feel better that I helped keep a small entrepreneur in business. Some friends told me to leave the boo-boo alone because it gives the bike character--yeah, right. I wished their bikes similar character. If Jesse were an old bike, I might leave that mark alone, but I earned that scratch when the bike was barely a couple of months old--far too new to endure a blemish.

When Jesse comes home he will look new and that matters to me. I am still scratching my head over my "get off," so having Jesse flawless will be therapeutic. Jesse will sport new moto-like lights. Just when I was going to plop down my hard earned dollars for PIAA lights, I decide to go with Martin Fabrication lights, which were recommended by a trusted friend who knows about all this stuff. Come spring I will fly to VA and ride Jesse home. No date in mind yet, but I'm working on that. Since it might still be cold, Jesse will have a new, auxilliary fuse panel to plug in the winter jacket and pants--which I don't yet own--working on that too.CycleWorld Motorcycle Show makes a stop in Rosemont, IL in February. I will be there! It will be my third visit, Dave's first. The show has become symbolic for me. It means the ride season is around the corner. I am looking forward to serious motorcycle-ride therapy. I am still challenged by the demands on my energy and time. But I'm working to get free. The bones continue to heal--way too slowly for me. I really thought I'd be whole by now! I've accepted that it is only in my dreams that I'll get to do some cross-country skiing this winter. Oh well...this too shall pass. In the meantime, I'm doing all I can to embrace living in what feels like the arctic plain! We're under a weather advisory--nothing new here. We have heavy, whirrling snow, frigid temps, and a wind chill that will slap the skin off your bare face. Brrrrrrrr! Yes, Jesse and I are ready--almost.
Note: Liberty Mutual finally admitted their error and corrected the problem. Still, as soon as my insurance with them has expired, I will be looking for another company.

Friday, January 2

Finally, a new year!

The last few months I've been waiting for this new year like no other. I'm inspired by new things and new opportunities to begin fresh. I'm willing myself to feel better. Physically the collar bone is healing. I can't believe that it hasn't already. I continue with the exercises but I have developed some sort of chronically sore neck and shoulder that I'm told is normal. The ribs are healing too. Although rolling over in my sleep on my back wakes me up immediately! Ouch! I'm convinced, however, that the ribs will get stronger soon. I now have bumpy parts at each break site, evidence of calcification around the fractures. That's okay but my once smooth collar bone now sports a fairly large lump that resembles a mountain peak. I see it as I see my motherhood-earned stretch marks: these are the dues one pays for the choices made. 

Emotionally, I'm better too. I know for certain that each day brings hope for better days ahead. To all those whom I've promised to get back to, I will very soon. I am looking forward to catching up on all my friends' blogs, which I've missed terribly. Now that the holidays have passed, I can shift my focus back to more self-selected tasks. While I know that the new year can deal me anything, even some more difficult times, I am strengthened by surviving all that has come before. 

The image in the picture is a gift from my dear friend, Claire. The little girl is painted on wood. She is holding onto hope. She hangs on for me too.

Happy New Year. May you show strength in all that 2009 brings your way.

One more thing. Thanks to all of you for everything!