Friday, March 13, 2009

Ultra Safe Motorcycle Guy

You'd think with six girls I'd only blog about "Mommy" things. No....I do think about other things other than "Mommy/Housewife things." So, the other morning I was driving my two older girls to their co-op classes and I noticed I was driving alongside "Ultra Safe Motorcycle Guy." This guy was so amazing! I was so impressed! He had on his motorcycle safety suit, these cool looking "safety" boots and this MASSIVE helmet with wires running through the top of it to this backpack thing he had in front of him, a butt pad, a flashlight hooked up to the top of his helmet, and goggles under his already eye-shielded helmet. He had two metal cases on both sides of his motorcycle, for storage I assume. We were driving on New York Drive (one of my favorite streets to drive on both day and night. Great views from both sides of the street.) We kept stopping next to him at stoplights. My daughter and I were laughing because he was so decked out with safety gear. I'm glad he didn't notice us. His bike was beautiful, too. Some fancy looking BMW motorcycle. In fact, at the third light we stopped at Elena found my camera in my purse and at my request got a picture of him. I'm sooo glad he didn't see us. That would've been weird.
The reason I was so impressed is that recently a friend of mine got hit by a car while on his motorcycle. He's been off work for months and it's been really painful. I remembered years ago my husband telling me how he had wanted a motorcycle in his younger years. (Don't most young men go through that phase?) His Dad, an ER physician and an easygoing guy, said "NO!" He had seen too many motorcycle accidents come through the doors of the ER to approve of his son's interest in getting a motorcycle. I'm so glad! I think motorcycles are fun, but I'm too much of a safety freak to feel comfortable with anyone that I love dearly and sincerely riding one on a regular basis. Anyway, all motorcycle riders should be as safe as Ultra Safe Motorcycle Guy. And if any of them notice some lady in a Suburban with a whole bunch of kids laughing at him at a stoplight, it's because we're impressed with all his safety precautions. Happy motoring!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Goodbye, Mike

Yesterday I was too tired to post news of Mike's passing. It had been an emotional day and I spent a good part of it with Tina, Christian, and Mike's family. I cried a lot, and will ocntinue to. I miss my friend Mike, but I'm crying just as much for Tina and Christian and their loss. She called me about 30 minutes after he passed away and I arrived about 20 minutes later. I was honored to be included in his goodbye. I met with the president of St. Francis High School, Father Tony. He was a lovely Brazilian man who came into the priesthood later in life after losing his wife to brain cancer, too. I met the hospice care nurse and the chaplain who came with her from Kaiser. Both were wonderful people. I spent some time with Barbara, Mike's older sister. I like Barbara a lot and was grieving for her loss, too. Mike was the 4th sibling who's died in her family of 9 brothers and sisters. It's a painful and awful story about their family and in honor of those who have passed on and those who remain I will stop there.
What I found amazing is that Christian had encouraged his mom to take a shower that morning. She had been with Mike all night long talking to him and urging him to stay alive and not leave. How could Mike depart with Tina there? So, his son gave him permission to leave and he did. That is a beautiful death. Poor Tina, though, is wracked with guilt and I told her not to be. Nothing I say is going to help her much, but I tried.
Anyway, the funeral is in a few days. We were laughing about what she should put in his coffin. She's going to dress him in his trademark jeans and t-shirt and perhaps one of his favorite flannel shirts. I told her to put in a can of his favorite soda, Cherry Coke and maybe his cigarettes. I think she might actually do this! It was nice to laugh in the midst of such sorrow. That's it for now.