Dodging the RoadkillClarksville, Tn — All of us have had to say good-bye to a loved one.  It’s never easy and some are harder than others. 

The last month of my life has been a real whirlwind.  I’m only sharing it with you because so many of you have reached out to me during this time, and, if I’m not willing to share the good AND the bad, then I’m short changing my readers.

Besides, you guys are AWESOME and you care!

I married the only blind date that ever worked out for me.  In 1971, some mutual friends connected me with my future wife and if that wasn’t good enough, I was blessed enough to be brought into a family that had so much love to give.  I could live forever and never be as fortunate.

I lost my father in 1980, my mother in 1994, my grandmother in 1999, and tragically, my baby brother in 2004.  I never had the opportunity to tell them one final time how much I loved them, and I never had the chance to say good-bye.

This last month has been spent tending to my mother in law, my wife and her brother.  She was in fragile health for the last couple of years, but then last month, she had a massive stroke.  It involved a lengthy hospital stay, then the final two weeks of her life were spent in Hospice, where we watched her gracefully pass away.

The blessing for me during this time was that I had many opportunities to tell her how much I loved and appreciated her.  I also had the opportunity to say “goodbye.”

Grandma And Great Grandson

Grandma w/Great Grandson

My in-laws made me feel like family from the moment we met.  My sweet mother-in-law had a heart as big as Texas, wrapped up in her tiny little frame.  In a world of broken homes and family struggle, it’s been a real blessing to be loved and respected as much as I’ve been with this family.  And when you watch somebody leave this world and go to the next, you appreciate things more than before.  You realize that you are very fortunate and you’ve taken too many things for granted. 

I was blessed to have in-laws who made me feel special.  They made me feel loved.  They trusted me to take care of their “baby girl” and that’s a big deal to a parent.  The sweet woman we said goodbye to today, was a treasure.

The last few weeks I haven’t felt motivated to do much at all.  I haven’t felt like writing, or riding.  I’ve ridden a few times, but it’s been all about family and taking care of our own.

I just wanted to share my experience and encourage you to look deep down inside and evaluate who and where you are in your life.  The last few weeks has reminded me that I’m one lucky guy.  Even though my biological family is gone, I’ve got a million reasons to feel loved and to feel good about my life.  Two incredible kids, and two incredible grands.

The sweet soul we buried today was an amazing woman and she taught me so much.  I’ll take this experience and hopefully be a better man.  A better husband and father. 

I’ll also be a better biker, because the friendships I’ve made on this journey are special to me.  They’re genuine.  I don’t want to let any of my brothers and sisters down.

Love conquers all and bikers know that better than anyone.  Much love to you guys!  Be safe and appreciate all the good things in your life.