Goodbye, bike
January 10 2003 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Goodbye, bike | Friday, Jan. 10, 2003

Friday, Jan. 10, 2003

Goodbye, bike

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

This issue of the Biblical Recorder is dated January 18, which is not a particularly significant date unless it happens to be someone's anniversary, or birthday - or death day.

The date is engraved on our family calendar for the latter reason, being nine years to the day from the cold morning our daughter Bethany fell victim to a drunk driver.

And it took me every bit of those nine years to move her bicycle from the garage.

We cleaned out Bethany's room a little less than a year after her death, and gave away stacks of clothes and toys. Most of her teddy bears and stuffed animals went into garbage bags for storage, and a dear friend turned some of her Sunday dresses into a small patchwork memory quilt.

But I couldn't let the bicycle go.

It was mostly bright orange, with splashes of purple and white tires. A vinyl pouch on the handlebars collected the stuff she found interesting, mostly rocks. She had customized it with a small tag behind the seat and colorful plastic sliders from a cereal box on the spokes.

I remember how proud she was when the training wheels came off and she made her first two-wheeled loop around the cul-de-sac, with countless others to follow.

She loved that bike, and I loved watching her ride it.

And there it sat, as I cleaned out the garage to make room for Samuel to fashion a neighborhood "clubhouse."

There it sat, with tires nearly flat, the paint fading, her dusty helmet still hanging from the handlebars by the chinstrap.

At last, it seemed, the time was right, so the bike went into the truck with the yellow bus full of Duplo blocks and the bags of clothes and other donations for Goodwill. When I carried it in, a young employee took it wordlessly and rolled it away.

I hope some little girl gets it who loves to ride and to laugh, to rattle the spokes and scratch the tires.

She won't know the bike's story, but that's OK.

It's been silent too long.

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1/10/2003 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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