* * * * * * * * * * * *
“I know. Someone already told me. They asked me not to tell you who it was.”
There is a very short list of people who this could be, and within seconds, I’ve narrowed it down with 99% confidence. I’m pretty certain it’s my Aunt Maureen – she means well. If only I could have had some knowledge that my Mom already knew. This would have saved me from all of that stress. I’m both frustrated and relieved.
I’m glad that the memory I’ll always have of this day is of her wry and conflicted smile that said, “How did I ever give birth to you – oh that’s right, you are 50% your Dad and that explains everything”.
I thought it would be horror and tears. I much prefer this version of reality.
For the next hour, I told her about how it all came to be. I told her about the Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider’s education course I took. I told her about my experienced rider friends who have been coaching me. I told her about hours and hours of practice in empty parking lots. I told her about all of the safety skills I’ve been learning in a nearly frantic effort to calm her nerves. I showed her all of the nice, thick leather riding gear I was wearing: leather boots, chaps, quality leather coat, leather gloves, and helmet, of course.
We talked about all of the people we know who have whole careers of riding safely on two wheels. She wasn’t mad, and honestly, she didn’t seem terribly surprised. Definitely nervous, though.
“I just lost your Dad… I don’t know if I can take another loss…”
(note: My Dad passed away last year of causes incident to his age and condition, which I’ll explain to you in the next chapter. While his death has made a huge impact on my life, the focus of this story is his life.)
To know who, and why, I am, you have to know my father:
The original Duane.