I came home on Thursday after my hair appointment excited to tell Mike that when I went to pay for my hair cut, the lady at the till told me it had already been taken care of…including the tip. I knew right away it was either my mom or my sister who went ahead of me and paid. It was such a nice surprise, unlike the surprise I got when I went upstairs to tell Mike about it. I heard the shower running and figured Mike had just gotten back from his bike ride. I went into the bathroom and right away sensed something was wrong. I asked Mike from my side of the curtain if everything was okay and he said nothing. I looked at his clothes lying on the floor and saw blood. My heart sank.
I go bike riding with Mike almost every day and the day I go to the salon instead, he has another accident. Mike and I have an agreement…or so I thought. When I don’t go riding with him, he goes to the dirt track at the high school just down the street from us. I feel comfortable with that arrangement. He doesn’t have to cross any busy roads, there are no hills, there is no traffic etc. I thought I convinced him that the dike and other bike trips are best taken together. But like a rebellious child, Mike disobeyed and went to the dike by himself.
He explained that a dog walked across his path and even though he slowed down, he was unable to steer around the dog and because of his loss of range of motion and strength in his arms, he was unable to catch himself when he hit the ground. So, needless to say, it was another “Look Away, I’m Hideous” all over again (see my blog). A little worse though, Mike broke his nose...the dog was fine. I convinced him to see the doctor and his nose was taken care of…good old Dr. Wong.
All Mike could think about was the great pictures he got and the blog he was going to write (see the last post, “R” Rated). All I could think about was his family in Toronto and how upset they were going to be when they read about the incident. I insisted he keep the accident under wraps, but nothing can keep Mike from telling a good story…especially one that involves blood. I pleaded with him to leave it alone, but he had his mind made up. I had to let it go and thought if we share the good things and the inspiring things and the happy things, then I guess we should share the tough stuff too. Plus, Mike reminded me he was a grown man and would share whatever he wanted. I reminded him that it’s my blog.
Anyway, yesterday I got an email from our friend Audrey. This is what she said: “On Saturday, when I saw Mike and his new injuries, and after he assured us that he was okay, I told him that we needed to get him bumper pads. That instantly brought back the memories of Madeline and the day she learned how to ride a bike.’’ Audrey told me the story of the day her daughter Madeline learned to ride a bike while Audrey watched from the window. Madeline emerged from the garage with a purple hockey helmet on. She got on her bike and after a few seconds, she fell. She went back into the garage and come out with elbow pads on. She got back on her bike and lasted a little bit longer, but fell again. She went back into the garage and came out this time with knee pads on. Madeline practiced riding her bike with her big sister and brother when they got home from school and was excited to surprise her dad when he got home from work. Audrey went on to say, “I read Mike has a new helmet and we could outfit him with knee pads and elbow pads but what to do about those man vs dog moments?! Thirteen years later I sit here wondering what Madeline would have done that day if she had to overcome the dog challenge too. What would have come out of the garage next? I'm sure she would have found a solution because she was so determined and was not giving up - just like Mike. It made me smile, and cry a little all over again at the love and pride I had on "bike" day and on Saturday too!”
An invincible determination can accomplish anything and in that, lies the great distinction between great men and little men. Thomas Fuller…and in Madeline’s case; great young women!
When I woke up this morning, I laid in bed and prayed for Mike’s family. I prayed that the Lord would comfort them and help them not to worry about their little brother too much. When I got up, this is the message I read from Mike’s sister Aileen: (Regarding Mike’s last blog “R” Rated) "It made me cry and Melanie was here and I think she felt bad for me. I think it is selfish for me to think of how I feel when I see my brother handling himself so strong and never giving up or giving in. It's sad for us to see him suffer anything, but here is such a message in his posting that it took me to really think deep about what it means to him to continue the biking in spite of the dangers. He doesn't want to give his whole being to ALS and continuing biking shows how he is continuing with his life as he always has, with strength, endurance and a whole lot of faith...Regarding the blog, I don't want him to hold back anything he wants to say. It is part of his story. I was wrong and yes it is hard for us, but how can I measure that compared to what is hard for HIM? How selfish of me. If he wants to bike, he should keep doing it and when he is ready to stop, it will be his choice not mine or anyone else’s."
Aileen’s message to Mike: “Hey Mike: I just want you to know that every day you amaze me with your strength of person and humour at life and its hurdles. You have taught me so much - inspiration yes, but more about growing stronger in spirit in the face of barriers. ...Why am I upset at this shot? Why should I be? It is again you heading face on (literally) your limitations and not letting it rob you of your pleasures. I love that you can laugh at this, the pictures are priceless, and they show who you are and NOBODY would change that in you. I just hate that you got hurt.”
Me and Mike on the dike today....
and we went all the way...to Harris Road (19Ks)
see Living on a Prayer blog
Alouette River and Golden Ears Mountains backdrop