A gift

I was about to leave when it was decided to open gifts.

That’s not the best time to exit.  So, I stayed.

There it was… a beautiful bike trailer.  Yellow and black.  It made me think of LiveStrong.  This was clearly a quality, and no doubt not a cheap, bike trailer.  I reember looking at it and having two thoughts.

  1. Wow!  What an awesome present. It was gorgeous.  It was perfect.
  2. John would have loved that for Nathaniel.

I tried my hardest to be happy for the recipient.  It was perfect for their family.  I wasn’t jealous at all.  But it broke my heart because I knew… if John was around Nathaniel would have a bike trailer like that…. not a clearance one from Target.

It reminded me how John always did things the right way.  He believed in doing things right even if it meant spending a little more money.  He liked quality.

It reminded me of how John would have picked a well designed well rated bike trailer.  He would have read reviews; talked to cycling friends; visited several bike shops,  and done lots of research on the internet.  He’d been scoping out bike trailers since kiddo was born… probably even when I was pregnant.

He wouldn’t have on a whim picked up a clearance bike trailer from Target.  (Which honestly, is not typical for me, either.  I’m a muller , contemplator, and a ruminator… and no good at auctions… )

Then there was the realization that I don’t have excess money that we used to.  I don’t have two healthy incomes anymore.  I have one rather stagnant one, supplemented by something called a retirement that doesn’t even add up to enough to pull federal taxes out of on a monthly basis…  The realization is that I can’t afford to go out and purchase expensive bike trailers that will see little use. If I knew it would get a lot of good use… I’d pay more, but I know myself… a few jaunts a year is pretty much what it will see.  I’m either too timid or too safety conscious (depending on your opinion) to go out on the road alone and don’t have much interest to go out in groups.

But, I do have a bike trailer and kiddo does love it.  He doesn’t know that it’s a cheapie… he doesn’t know that his daddy would have gotten him better.  He just thinks its fun to bounce around on the trails with his pathetically out of shape mother huffing and puffing along.  His daddy would have provided much more speedy rides of much greater variation and length.

I do know that John would be proud that I got a bike trailer and took kiddo out.  Heck, maybe he’d be happy that I found a good deal.

I’ve been thinking it’s time to dust off the trailer and head out to the trails.  I’ve learned that if I want to do something it often is just me doing it.  Waiting for company and juggling schedules never seems to work.  Time just goes by and nothing gets done.  I just wish I had the confidence to go more places and that I knew how to fix a tire.  I find there is a confidence in knowledge and ignorance causes me to worry.   I know how to ride the bike on a basic level… that’s it… no mastery.    I also know that there are things I’m talented at and things  I’m not.  If it is mechanical or requires construction, or anything more than the simplest tool my brain has pathetic understanding.  I guess if I ever have a tire go, I’ll either learn how to fix it, come across some assistance, or get some mileage out of my shoes and use on my cell phone…

I remember the ride that we took on “the rail trail.”  I unknowingly was in the early stages of pregnancy and we went a long way.  I was worn out and there was John right beside me… telling me I could do it… coaching in an encouraging way…. supporting…  at one point he put his hand on my back and helped give me a little push to ease my fatigue and keep me going.

Damn I miss that…

About Mary K. Smith

I was widowed in July 2009, when I lost my beloved husband, John, to melanoma. Cancer SUCKS. We have a young son who was just a year old when his father died. I live on a small farm in Maryland which is home to horses, cats, and a dog. I started this blog as a way for me to heal, a way to remember my husband, and eventually I'd like to share it with our son so he can see the love that his father had for him, the love that we had for each other, what a great person his father was, and how hard his father fought to live.
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