Saturday, November 30, 2013

"On Our Bikes"

Melissa 1986 on her bike

"On our bikes."

It was over 20 years ago that I last rode a bicycle with her. Her life got so busy. She went on to become an accomplished pianist, a piccolo player and an all-state level flute player. Along with math and State speech competitions, college courses in high school, valedictorian, and a 4.0 National Merit Scholar. By this time the sanctity of the home had crumbled. Alcoholism and drug abuse running rampant and out of control in a parent will do that to any home. I thought I could fix it, make it all better, I couldn’t. It only got worse sending the household into hell.  Melissa needed to get out, and left home at age 17. Iowa State University knew she was an exceptional student and offered her a 4 year full scholarship. Attending classes at a more then full time schedule while maintaining employment with whatever time was left over. Summers found her interning out of state for Proctor and Gamble, and Flint Oil refinery.  
Graduating with a Chemical Engineering degree in 2003 with multiple employers throwing out their welcoming mat she has maintained gainful employment ever since. Giving birth to my grandson Cole she became a wonderful and loving mother and continues to be so. 
Seeking and needing mores challenges she began a grueling training regimen of long distance running and setting her sights on and competing in many half and full marathons. Placing in meets and returning to her home town to take 2nd place in a 26.2 mile marathon in January through snow covered Iowa trails. Now setting her sights on a 31 mile race and several other marathons. But it wasn’t to be. She “blew” her foot up and after two years of surgeries and recovery and the foot not letting her run the bike became her friend again.
We went riding today, my daughter and I. We had a blast. She rides quite well as we rode snow packed trails with her on a “skinnie” CX bike.  We will race Cirrem together this February across snow and ice covered Iowa gravel roads for 65 miles. "On our bikes."
Melissa and me "on our bikes" today.
Me and Melissa today and yesterday. 
...and we ride on..."on our bikes" and in life.
Cheers and hope your day was good as well. Thanks for stopping by, Dave.


Anonymous said...

You surely have a way with words Dave, . I don't know you really, outside of Facebook, but just reading this and seeing those pictures with your daughter makes me wish I could give you a hug or a hearty handshake. You make us laugh everyday, but this post brought tears to my eyes, and although I believe myself a sensitive soul, tears rarely come. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Dan O said...

Cool stuff. Nice write up and pics...

tainterturtles said...

What a great blog post Dave. And you changed your blog header too! It's great to see you and Melissa riding together.

Joboo said...

The best blog post I've read in awhile!!
Nice done Sir D, nicely done!!
Pedal On!!