THROUGH THE GRACE OF GOD GO I............
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    Lifes moment by moment ironies have been interlocking over the past few years much like a 'log jam'. Not sure when I first heard the expression, 'through the grace of God go I' but it seems only recently have I been beginning to grasp what it implies. Am not a particularly religious guy, but I have my beliefs. Are they enough to sustain me, likely not if I were put to the "test".



    Perhaps in not being the social sort, I have been able to buffer myself against the unpleasant extremes of those around me. Now it seems, I have come to that turn in the river (of life) and the 'log jam' has me tangled in the trials and tribulations of those about me.



    A fellow with whom I have shared many an adventure just entered rehab. Our paths have not crossed in a few years as I tired of visiting only to watch him finish off the fifth of Vodka he had opened that morning. Recently we got together for a motorbike ride as I now have two. At the end of the ride, I dropped him off at our meeting place where his truck was parked. Before I had a chance to pull away, he offered me a beer as he had a couple in an icechest. Perhaps I was an ungracious host, but I snapped back, "what the hell man, you are in rehab, you can't keep doing this to yourself".



    I rode bicycles for many years and paid my way through as much college as I could deal with by working in bicycle shops. Met Ed in the mid 70's. He was new to cycling and one of the first to take a "Bicycle repair and Maintenance" course another fellow and I had put together as part of a community outreach program. At that point in my life I had logged more than a few thousand 'pedal miles', but had no idea that Ed would surpassed that at least ten-fold. He was here, there and every where. Back east, up north, then off cycling over the Alps. He became a leading cycling advocate on the West coast and put in place programs that turned Chico, into one of California's most prominent cycling communities. A couple of years ago while leading a group cyclists on a leisurely ride through the park, in an unguarded moment he hit a short bright orange post head-on. The irony, this post was to insure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians in barring motorized interlopers. At 60, Ed became a quadriplegic.



    A fellow that I have been working alongside of for the last 10 years recently received a call on the phone at our work station. I took note as the words I was hearing did not seem work related and cause my partner some angst. I was told the caller was his Nephew and sounded stressed, so much so that my co-worker could not really understand what was being said, but knew it had something to do with his Son. My Friend, though perplexed told me he would likely be able to put the bits and pieces together when he got home. A week or so after I noted my workbench partner filling out the necessary forms to take out a loan on his 401k plan. Seems his Son, in a moment of anger and bravado felt compelled to shoot-up the car whos occupants showed him some 'disrespect'. With much of his retirement savings gone, his Son now has eight years to reflect upon that moment.



    The above and more seems to have been crammed into my recent 'sub'conscious and has burst forth. I guess my rambling is a result of todays visit with a fellow I don't really even know. Being a gadget guy, I spend lots of time in my local Ace hardware store. For the first few years when I moved into town, my frequent visits to the store, and the time I took wandering about aimlessly, made me a subject of suspicion. Now it seems, the joke is that I really live in the back corner of the warehouse and only move to the front of the store when heading out to get something to eat.. Anyway, in my 15 years of shopping there, I recently made a casual connection with a fellow that, in my mind, likely had a life much different than mine. Not a 'judgement' that was really good or bad, but admittedly like many contemplations not really worth the mental energy. Guess it would be best likened to a walk before dinner. It is just something you need to do before you do something else. I don't want to spend time talking to strangers unless I have spent the time 'figuring them out first'. Perhaps that is why I am less than 'social'. While trying to decide whether to buy 24" or 36" high chicken wire, this grizzled rough hewn fellow approached to offer assistance. Given the scars and missing teeth, it would be my guess, if we were to have met in years gone by, my chicken wire specialist would have been just as happy kicking my ass. We seemed to meet on some middle ground and started talking about the fire that threatened our community a few years ago. I had occasion to mention that the ensuing weeks of smoke brought to light a rather serious respiratory 'condition' I did not know I had. I was moved that this 'hard livin, hard ridin' guy seemed genuinely concerned for my well-being. From that point forward, should our paths meet in the store, he would, make a point of comming over, shaking my hand, giving me a pat on the back and asking me how I was doing.



    Well, today I visited my "Friend" Ray. Seems for the last five months he has been in a local nursing home. Last July Ray was in a motorcycle accident. He sustained moderate injuries from which he has mostly recovered. To add insult to those injuries, he also had a stroke. Not sure I am recognized or that my visit (s) are all that therapeutic. He seems to struggle trying to re-formulate his words and as well, perhaps a bit embarrassed about the diaper he has to wear. I gently touched his arm but still tried to be 'manly'. I once again wished him well and went on my way........ There but for the grace of God go I......



    Never did I realize that in any given instant life can present so many dramatic twists and turns... Savor the moment, and give some thought to the next... In my opinion.



    Take care and stay well. Gerry







    Take care my Friend.........

  2. #2
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    Sounds like you need a long ride to a quiet somewhere with small flames and a big sky full of stars.




  3. #3
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    Thanks Qwerty. It seems my cup runith over and I just needed to vent. The nice thing about this 'venue' is you don't have to worry about someone walking away before you get it all off your chest.



    I need to give Thanks for the things i 'have'. The TW has allowed me to realize I have a unique imagination. The forum has afforded me the opportunity to share many of my strengths.



    Qwerty, thanks again for 'stepping in'. I will look up at the stars as I head back out to the shop to work on my bike. Gerry




    Take care my Friend.........

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  5. #4
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Gerry,



    Your words and stories are very thought provoking...and may I say appreciated. You have given me pause to think about some of "those things that happen in life" which make us who we are, and who we become.



    Generally speaking, I'm a fairly private and solitary person who tends to keep things to myself. I think of my family as "my friends", and when not alone, I do things with them. I too am not overly outgoing or social, but I did go on a couple of rides with Truelight and Roadjanitor this past year, but this was departure from "my normal M.O.", and I will go again.



    Several years ago I was laid up by an injury that would take me over a year to recover from. After several months, I was finally able to get on crutches and hobble the 20-30 steps to the mailbox. I thought this was a huge accomplishment and my thought at the time, and still is, that I would never take for granted the ability to walk...and later...that I would never feel sorry for myself and take anything for granted! Afterall, I am "here".



    Gerry, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Gave me a reason to "think and reflect".



    Kris




    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  6. #5
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    Much THANKS Kris, you have secured my place in the Universe by virtue of your acknowledgement. Perhaps one of our 'gifts' is our willingness to share " the very personal."



    My thought is, I am not so unique. To share the 'intimate' has developed into an obligation. As a by-stander, my thought was that life would be easier; not so it seems.



    We are "all" very much alike. In my opinion, should we 'effort to share the personal' we might make the journey easier for those just beginning.



    Thanks Charles, and thanks to all that "listen". Gerry

    Take care my Friend.........

  7. #6
    Senior Member Petrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgizmow View Post
    ........Well, today I visited my "Friend" Ray. Seems for the last five months he has been in a local nursing home. Last July Ray was in a motorcycle accident. He sustained moderate injuries from which he has mostly recovered. To add insult to those injuries, he also had a stroke. Not sure I am recognized or that my visit (s) are all that therapeutic. He seems to struggle trying to re-formulate his words and as well, perhaps a bit embarrassed about the diaper he has to wear. I gently touched his arm but still tried to be 'manly'. I once again wished him well and went on my way........ There but for the grace of God go I......


    Gary,



    You will be in my thoughts (, and your friends as well)

    I think that Ray would appreciate your visits, even if it is a bit awkward ....



    Good luck

    Petrus
    2008 TW200

  8. #7
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    Thanks Petrus, you are a Friend as well... Gerry
    Take care my Friend.........

  9. #8
    Senior Member peruano's Avatar
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    Basically, its true that all of those around us are dealing with challenges and all you have to do is listen to find out that most have it worse than we do (if we listen carefully and make some allowance that we will never know all that they are enduring). I'm not surprised Gerry that you are sensitive enough to notice those around you and to emphathize with them. But time does march on and if we live long enough some of those challenges will hit us as well. I just read a book by Eric Weiner (the Geography of Bliss) which basically deals with what it takes to make us happy. One observation made that sticks in my mind is that we should each consider that death occurs at least once per day; and in that way we are much more comfortable with the concept when it is thrust on us or those around us. I recommend the book even tho the subject sounds a bit strained. It certainly made me think about what is important to my happiness and what is not. I'll give you one more of his observations. Your happiness is less closely linked to your status in your society and more likely to reflect positively the quality of your society. You can be a happy janitor in the right society, but not a happy executive in a pissy one. Stay with your present course and keep in touch. Tom
    Tom - TW200 2002, Kawasaki VN 500 2006

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  10. #9
    Senior Member Rohnsman's Avatar
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    Your subject line really says it all, doesn't it? You are a wise man to be able to observe the misfortunes of others and not only feel compassion for them, but come away with gratitude that God has blessed you more than many, yes? Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You give the rest of us a chance to reflect on what we have that we much too often take for granted.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    Thanks Tom and Truelight for the kind words and concern. Sometimes I wonder if the 'present' is not in fact our Purgatory. Try as we might, the failure rate seems pretty high.



    Gerry
    Take care my Friend.........

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