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  1. #1
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    Theraputic ride tomorrow (long, kinda OT)

    I lost my Dad many years ago. So long ago that Iím not really sure exactly when
    it happened because you see it was a very slow, slow loss. As a young child I can
    remember him being a strong force in my life. I always knew which Shift he was
    working and would eagerly await his arrival, be it morning, afternoon or night.
    I couldnít wait to play with Dad, of course he was always too tired or Mom had
    important stuff for him to take care of, but I kept waiting certain that the day would
    come for my time with Dad. With four youngsters in the house there was always
    some kind of mischief going on and I was as guilty as the others a good number
    of the times. Well, it didnít take long for my frazzled Mother to become adept at
    the age old threat ďYou just wait Ďtill your Father gets home.Ē It all sorta blurs
    together but sometime in the middle years of Grade School, Dadís arrival took on
    a very dreaded perspective. Now he wasnít a mean man and I donít ever recall him
    striking any of us, but I most certainly believed he would if he wanted to, and it
    seemed that I had a particularly good knack at getting under his skin either on my
    own or through the apt reports from my Mother. By the time I entered High School
    it was obvious that I seldom if ever pleased the Man. He never attended a single
    one of my High School sporting events (Tennis & Soccer) and disapproved of
    most of my friends. My Mother always seemed to find something to report on and
    my siblings seeing the opportunity did what any siblings would doÖ.they directed all
    parental attention to me. I spent most of my High School days alone in my room
    when at home and away from the house whenever possible. I almost lived on my
    bike. That wonderful machine could take me to happier places and away from the
    chaos of home. By now my Mother had developed a habit of wanting to argue and
    insisting on always being right, just because sheís right. This sport of hers is still
    prevalent and many people shy away from my folks because of it. To my Dadís
    credit he always stood by her during these arguments no matter what. That trait
    I respected from my late High School years till present.

    My marriage didnít seem to change the situation any. Gifts to Mom that my bride and
    I struggled to find (will she like this? Is it right for her tastes? Etc.) were never
    good enough, and he was certain to point out that fact. After a few years we just
    gave them money and a card, and then after a while we just started sending them
    money and a card. I think thatís when I mourned the loss of my folks, finally admitted
    to myself that I just didnít fit in to their family and slowly, almost completely exited their
    lives. I accepted that I was the Black Sheep and withdrew.

    When we lost our first two children, one at a time, our only child each timeÖmy
    folks showed up at the house once each time but there was no connection. It seemed
    to us that they felt duty bound to be there. The rare encounters with them after that
    always seemed to be accompanied by one of those stupid arguments. My wife grew tired
    of both of them very quickly and my children thought that they were mean, and the
    kids were right. At least my Mother was mean, and Dad always backed her up as she
    was his wife and he plain just didnít like me or my wife because we finally learned to
    stand up to her. We learned to say ďNo, youíre wrong, and this is why.Ē And then
    they would storm out of the house and mutter nasty stuff to us on the way out the
    door and be gone for another year or more.

    Now, standing in the back of the Funeral Parlor and looking across the room at his lifeless
    body in the casket I donít seem to have any emotion left. No sorrow, no hate, no more emptiness
    than there ever was. Iíve stayed away from all the planning of the funeral arrangements and a
    little birdie tells me itís been nothing but two long days of senseless arguing. It seems that almost
    nothing at all has changed.

    Itís been a very strange life indeed. My kids tell me that I have not alienated them and
    they enjoy coming home, so perhaps Iíve not created the same type of void I grew up in.
    I certainly hope not. Tomorrow, before visiting hours, Iím taking the aluminum racing bike
    out for 20-30 miles. I expect that after I warm up and loosen up these old bones, Iíll be
    moving along quite fast for a while. Iíll know when the final fuzzy corners of my brain have
    cleared up, itíll be when I slow down to about 16mph and again relish being alive. Iíll drink
    in the beauty of the lake and ponds and trees through my dimming eyes and marvel at how
    such a simple machine can provide so much physical and mental therapy.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    My kids tell me that I have not alienated them and
    they enjoy coming home, so perhaps Iíve not created the same type of void I grew up in.
    Seriously, congratulations on that.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    Itís been a very strange life indeed. My kids tell me that I have not alienated them and
    they enjoy coming home, so perhaps Iíve not created the same type of void I grew up in.
    I certainly hope not. Tomorrow, before visiting hours, Iím taking the aluminum racing bike
    out for 20-30 miles. I expect that after I warm up and loosen up these old bones, Iíll be
    moving along quite fast for a while. Iíll know when the final fuzzy corners of my brain have
    cleared up, itíll be when I slow down to about 16mph and again relish being alive. Iíll drink
    in the beauty of the lake and ponds and trees through my dimming eyes and marvel at how
    such a simple machine can provide so much physical and mental therapy.
    Your post certainly brought back memories for me. Unfortunately not all of us had June and Ward Cleaver as parents. In spite of this most of us have gone on to become parents and have great relationships with our children.

    Enjoy the bike ride. I learned a long time ago to dwell on the happy memories and let the others go. We can't change them.
    =============================================================
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    Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
    -- Antonio Smith

  4. #4
    Ol' Paint
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    Clearly you cherish your wife and children and they return it. I know you have survived a lot of hurt, but you have charted your own course, not let others define it for you. That is not easy.
    "In my cathedral,
    colored glass holds no candle to
    sunlight through trees."
    -- Leon Briggs

  5. #5
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Cranky,

    I appreciate you sharing this story with us. I can relate to parts of the story quite easily. Take some pride in breaking the pattern with your own children. And aren't bikes amazing machines that they can take us literally and figuratively away from situations and thoughts and scenes we don't want to be in?
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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    Proud member of the original Club Tombay

  6. #6
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverly View Post
    Your post certainly brought back memories for me. Unfortunately not all of us had June and Ward Cleaver as parents. In spite of this most of us have gone on to become parents and have great relationships with our children.

    Enjoy the bike ride. I learned a long time ago to dwell on the happy memories and let the others go. We can't change them.
    +10,000

    COD, sorry for your loss, and happy for your positive outcome within your own family. I hope you enjoyed your ride.
    When my feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh, *****, she's awake!"

    Visit my blog.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the kind thoughts and wishes. Two big accomplishments from all of
    this...The back stabbing and bickering that I observed from the sidelines this week
    reaffirmed to me that the route I chose so many years ago was the right route for me and
    my wife to take. Fortunately my wife is wise and very understanding and through
    her matronly direction and guidance, she and I have raised three great, respectful
    daughters.

    It also looks like I may have regained a Brother, we'll wait and see how that goes though
    I am somewhat excited about getting back together with him and his family.

    Oh, and the bike ride yesterday was fantastic...I hope tomorrow's is as good.

    Happy Trails

  8. #8
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    Enjoy the Ride.

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