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Thread: Honored and Sad

  1. #1
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Honored and Sad

    I've mentioned before that my older brother was my riding partner for a good number of years, and because of health issues he is no longer able to ride. Over the years he has accumulated several good bikes (one I've been searching to find for a decade), lots of bike parts (cranks, pedals,wheels, saddles, handlebars, etc.) and about every tool you could ever need when working on a bike including a Park wheel truing stand and dishing tool, headset press and headset removal tool. Yesterday he emailed me and said that he wanted to give it all to me. He said he knew I would appreciate his collection and take care of it. In one way I'm quite honored that he would want me to have it all. He loved everything about cycling. So, I know he didn't reach his decision easily. Yet, I find myself feeling a bit sad about the whole thing. It breaks my heart to see the health/physical challenges he's facing. I haven't decided to accept his "gift" yet, and have mixed feelings about doing so. I suspect every time I look at something that used to belong to him, I'll bring back into my awareness his eventual loss of all motor functions - something I don't like to think about on a regular basis. Yet, I also suspect his request isn't just a "gift". Rather, it may be a way for him to feel OK about what happens to cycling items he has cherished. I'm not sure what I'll do. I know in terms of the overall state of human conditions across the globe this is a pretty minor decision, but it weighs heavy on me today.

    Thanks for letting me get these thoughts out in the open. Perhaps clearness will come to me now that I've identified some of the thoughts and feelings.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

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    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    If you've got the room for it, I'd say take it and enjoy it in his honor. If he can handle hearing about your use on his equipment without it making him too sad thinking about his loss, it might be a way for him to live vicariously though you.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


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    Not many things bring a tear to my eye but, your thread sure has.

    I am sure you will make the right decision.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Regards

  4. #4
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Depending on his health issues, is it possible for him to:

    - ride a trike?
    - ride with you on a tandem (trike)?

    These aren't cheap solutions, but one that may make both of you feel a lot better.

    As far as his gift to you, he may very well be sad at watching these things not being used and loved. I'd accept it and then use it well.
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Whew.......... I'm just glad it isn't on me to face this one, NOS. Off the top of my head I would say to accept his offer, as you will take care of and appreciate what these tool represent to both of you. I doubt much of anything you could say or do will change his direction based on what you have posted here previously. One thing to consider is going on what you have told us about his health issues he doesn't have a lot of time and this may be his way of insuring these tools are in the right hands, that he trusts and loves. What would happen to them otherwise is a big question for you to think about.

    This is JMHO. You should do exactly what you decide to do and then move on, regardless.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

    "We can't control that we have Parkinson's, but we can control how we live with Parkinson's" Davis Phinney

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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    Depending on his health issues, is it possible for him to:

    - ride a trike?
    - ride with you on a tandem (trike)?

    These aren't cheap solutions, but one that may make both of you feel a lot better.

    As far as his gift to you, he may very well be sad at watching these things not being used and loved. I'd accept it and then use it well.
    He suffers from peripheral neuropathy from years of heavy use of pharmaceuticals to control epilepsy. He's exhausted current treatments and has been told that he will have a steady decline in most motor functions as the myelin sheath continues to degrade. Just in the last 3 months he's lost the ability to climb steps without assistance. His nerve endings don't register the same clues we take for granted. For example, he'll quickly lose his balance because he has virtually no feeling in his feet any longer. So, as his weight shifts, the nerves don't register with the brain that there is more or less pressure. The other sad thing about this is that he's experienced a significant decline in cognitive abilities. He has a much harder time processing information at a normal speed. If you ask him a question, it may 2 to 3 times as long for him to answer it as it did in the past. Hence, quick decision-making just isn't going to work. He gave up driving over a year ago, and has a companion dog to help keep him oriented when out in public places.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    My thoughts are with you NOS and your brother.
    Please support diabetics like myself, a red rider, by supporting the American Diabetes Association.
    If you see a Tour de Cure event, consider participating or supporting a Red Rider or other participant.

    My nephew's and his two friends' blog about their riding the East Coast, Maine to the Keys:
    http://brobreak.wordpress.com/

    My Strava account

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    NOS88, graciously accept them, but be more than overjoyed to return everything if that which is deemed miraculous were to occur. Your brother wants you to have them; honor thy brother.

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    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    One thing I've always marvelled at is how we tend to remember the good things most strongly. I suspect you'd use the gifts and have only good memories.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  10. #10
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Accept his gift graciously and understand his sacrifice. If he is anything like my guy; I know the decision to depart with his gear and tools was tough to make. But just say "thank you" and give him a hug; nothing else needs to be said. And if you at some point, don't have the room; don't hesitate to 1) sell the gear/equipment or 2) donate it which I think is a awesome option - you can give your brother the tax writeoff or treat him to something special he will enjoy.
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  11. #11
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your brother. *sigh*

    All I can say is what I think I would do if I were in his shoes ... and I think I would do the same thing. Give the equipment to someone who can enjoy and use it, and spread the enjoyment to as many others as possible.

    Can he still do sag support? I know when I've been off the bike because of illness or surgeries, I really enjoyed being a roving sag.
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    I have a friend that is bed ridden. It is hard to come up with topics to talk about. Like you can't ask what have you been doing lately.

    The biking equipment will give you a great topic to discuss when you are talking with your brother. You can give him a call each time you use one of the tools and tell him how much you appreciate having the tool. When you take a ride on one of the bikes you can give him a review of the ride and how much you liked the way the bike handled. This will allow him to be included in your biking activity.

  13. #13
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    He suffers from peripheral neuropathy from years of heavy use of pharmaceuticals to control epilepsy. He's exhausted current treatments and has been told that he will have a steady decline in most motor functions as the myelin sheath continues to degrade. Just in the last 3 months he's lost the ability to climb steps without assistance. His nerve endings don't register the same clues we take for granted. For example, he'll quickly lose his balance because he has virtually no feeling in his feet any longer. So, as his weight shifts, the nerves don't register with the brain that there is more or less pressure. The other sad thing about this is that he's experienced a significant decline in cognitive abilities. He has a much harder time processing information at a normal speed. If you ask him a question, it may 2 to 3 times as long for him to answer it as it did in the past. Hence, quick decision-making just isn't going to work. He gave up driving over a year ago, and has a companion dog to help keep him oriented when out in public places.
    It sounds like riding a (recumbent) tandem might work for him (you could even get a trailer for the dog). Again, not a cheap solution, but...

    My sympathies to both you and your brother.
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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    I can understand his wanting to give his tools to someone for which they would have meaning, and I can understand that for you that may be a bit hard to handle. As an option you could discuss with him donating them to a charity. If there isn't a co-op or other organization close by, there is one in Trenton that could use them.
    Food for thought.
    If you don't know the way, you shouldn't be going there.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Pars's Avatar
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    My thoughts are with you NOS and your brother.

    If it were me, I would graciously accept his gift. I think it would make him happy knowing that they were being used and enjoyed in a responsible and caring manner, which you most certainly will do. If he needs money for medical issues, etc. then maybe you could explore that route.

    I am somewhat in a similar situation myself with one of my brothers, but nowhere near the seriousness of health issues that your brother has. This is what I would do personally.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    I've mentioned before that my older brother was my riding partner for a good number of years, and because of health issues he is no longer able to ride. Over the years he has accumulated several good bikes (one I've been searching to find for a decade), lots of bike parts (cranks, pedals,wheels, saddles, handlebars, etc.) and about every tool you could ever need when working on a bike including a Park wheel truing stand and dishing tool, headset press and headset removal tool. Yesterday he emailed me and said that he wanted to give it all to me. He said he knew I would appreciate his collection and take care of it. In one way I'm quite honored that he would want me to have it all. He loved everything about cycling. So, I know he didn't reach his decision easily. Yet, I find myself feeling a bit sad about the whole thing. It breaks my heart to see the health/physical challenges he's facing. I haven't decided to accept his "gift" yet, and have mixed feelings about doing so. I suspect every time I look at something that used to belong to him, I'll bring back into my awareness his eventual loss of all motor functions - something I don't like to think about on a regular basis. Yet, I also suspect his request isn't just a "gift". Rather, it may be a way for him to feel OK about what happens to cycling items he has cherished. I'm not sure what I'll do. I know in terms of the overall state of human conditions across the globe this is a pretty minor decision, but it weighs heavy on me today.

    Thanks for letting me get these thoughts out in the open. Perhaps clearness will come to me now that I've identified some of the thoughts and feelings.
    We can all feel sad for your brother, now I agree with a lot of others, you should accept the gift. Surplus bikes and parts you can't use, maybe you can put up for sale, maybe duplicate tools as well. Perhaps you could do something for your brother with the proceeds.

  17. #17
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    He's fortunate to have someone close to pass them to. I've been wondering where my stuff will go to an appreciative cyclist as my close friends and relatives are either shorter than me or don't cycle.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  18. #18
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    My wife had a very hard time giving up riding, but after getting 4 disk in her lower back, I decided to sell her bike. It was fun while it lasted and we both wish she could be ride again, but were both worried if she fell it would be a disaster.

    Sorry to hear about your problems and I’m sure everything will workout for the good. Whatever that may be. Good luck.
    George

  19. #19
    Avid Cyclist MickeyMaguire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    I haven't decided to accept his "gift" yet, and have mixed feelings about doing so.
    I suspect that he would want you riding his bikes and using the gear because they will continue to "trek" even when he cannot. He'll be there, with you, in spirit, with every stroke of the pedal. Then, you can talk about it together.

    I saw a movie starring Martin Sheen. He walked a pilgrimage that his son began and died in an accident along the way. He carried his son's ashes and scattered them along the way and then dumped the remainder in the sea at the end. It was a great money.

    Your brother will not have died, but, his journey ended in another sense. You can ride for him.
    If you can't do great things, do small things in a great way. ~Napoleon Hill
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  20. #20
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    My younger brother died of a brain tumor over a decade ago. He was the serious cyclist of the family, easily doubling my 2,500-3,500 miles per year. I was very hesitant to accept some of his stuff, including his prized Paris-Burst-Paris jerseys. Now I wouldn't sell them for anything, and wear them on special occasions, like his birthday.

    Honor your brother.

  21. #21
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMaguire View Post
    I saw a movie starring Martin Sheen. He walked a pilgrimage that his son began and died in an accident along the way. He carried his son's ashes and scattered them along the way and then dumped the remainder in the sea at the end. It was a great money.
    .
    The Way. Got it from netflix sitting on top of the player, waiting for a go. Glad to hear it'll be worth watching.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  22. #22
    Senior Member 1bluetrek's Avatar
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    Perhaps a tandem trike?
    Its sad to hear, and remindes me that I need to spend more time on my bike and enjoy it until God forbid, someday I cant ride.
    Take his gift, love and care for them and always keep him in the loop
    Join the fight to stop Diabetes! You can help improve the lives of those living with this disease!Sponsor me in the 2012 Tour de Cure in Redmond Washington!


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  23. #23
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    My younger brother was getting "too old" for his 10 speed road bike, so I offered to set it up with flat bars and thumb shifters.
    Since he lived in California, we'd only see each other about twice/year and he was going to pick it up the next time he visited.
    He ended up with cancer and died 2 years ago and I ended up with the bike.
    It had sentimental value to me, since he bought it new back in 73 74?
    It was far too big for me, so I fixed it up for my best friends son.
    The stipulation is that if he EVER gets rid of it, it comes back to me.
    That way I still get to see and work on the bike on occasion and I feel my brother is glad to see the bike being used by someone that DOES appreciate the significance.
    I turned it into a 3X9 speed and it gets ridden LOTS of miles.
    RIP Tony

  24. #24
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    NOS, consider yourself a custodian, taking care of your brother's love of cycling.

    In all likelihood, he is attending to his affairs before what appears to be the inevitable outcome, and rather than seeing his cycling items being liquidated to cash in the administration of his estate, he would rather they go now to someone he knows will appreciate them, and help maintain strong memories of good times together.

    He probably has given this considerable thought, and to deny him the offer might not sit well with him, as in the longer term, it might not sit well with you.
    Last edited by Rowan; 09-12-13 at 01:01 AM.
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  25. #25
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey View Post
    My thoughts are with you NOS and your brother.
    Yea.... me too man. That's very hard and I'm so sorry. One thing I might suggest is taking the bike stuff in stages... I don't know why but I think that would make it easier for me. Maybe it softens the sense of finality of it somehow. Hang in there....

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

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