And I Ride

I got a bicycle today
It was my birthday present and
It was a very big deal
The thought of having one has been at the forefront of my mind for awhile
The memory of riding, at the beach, the breeze, the ease of movement
The wind in my hair
Made me want the feeling again
Made the longing for the time, before this illness, even stronger
So, I asked for a bike
Now, I have to ride it
Now, I have to show up at the store and be fitted for the seat height and a helmet
I can’t fasten the clasp on the chinstrap
I can’t adjust the seat height
I can’t load my bike into my car
The brick wall of handicap that I so adeptly avoid these days
Hit me
So, Michael brought me and the bike home in his car
The basket, that was also a gift, is empty and I want to crawl in it and deny that any of this is
I smile and swallow self pity
I sit down on our sofa and put my head back
I summon some courage
From way
way down inside and
I pray under my breath
I plead a little with my face toward heaven
” just don’t let me fall”
I exhale and grit my teeth
“just don’t let me fall ”
I exhale and shut my eyes
“just don’t let me fall”
Michael walks the bike to the end of our driveway and down to the stop sign
I get on
My stomach is lurching and my heart is pounding in my ears
Michael holds on while I find my feet, find my peddles
I push down the fear as I push down the peddle and
I am amazed at how scared I really am
And then I ride
Wobbly and slow
But, I ride


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