Riding. Talking. Sharing.
Like many of you I frequently state to myself, and on occasion to others, that "I don't know what I would do if I couldn't ride." I can't imagine ever freely giving it up, and I think I might prefer to give up speaking, something I have never done much of anyway, rather than be forced to give up riding. It is a statement how ingrained certain activities may become to our daily lives, that these activities become an integral essence of ourselves, and may define our very being.
Lately, mom's ability to speak has rapidly deteriorated to the point where she almost can't anymore. At first she would break down in laughter when, in the middle of a conversation, she could not say what she wanted to. Early on, it may indeed have been a bit funny, but it did not take long to realize that the laughter was born of frustration. Most recently the frustration brings her to the verge of tears. See, mom loves to talk - not the individual act of making sound, but the social act of engaging people, finding out how they are, what is new in their lives. Me, I could take the hermits vow of silence without a second thought... well, without a third thought anyway. But for mom, not being able to talk, to share in that way with everyone she knows and loves, is kind of equivalent to being forced to give up riding.
Regrettably, the inability is snowballing into other areas of her life. At this point I should note that the problem is not a mental one - she knows what she wants to say, the words just will not come out, and as a result, whether due to embarrassment or sheer frustration, mom has given up much of what she has long liked to do - book club, church, visiting, going out, simply talking with more distant family on the telephone (something texting just cannot replace). Of course, everyone understands and would simply enjoy seeing her, but right now that concept escapes her, that verbal barrier blocking the way.
Another weekend is upon us - no better time to get out and revel in the rides and conversations with friends, maybe family too. Spring is unmistakably in the air and opportunities to share will abound for months to come. Regrettably, it appears I will not be able to make the Pappas Artisinal event to End Child Hunger at the Old Stump tonight (the Mrs. will confirm that I have been mopping about it all day), but tomorrow brings more opportunities - Claremont Earth Day, the Kohoutek Music & Arts Festival at Pitzer College, and then on Sunday (if I don't go to a race) there is the ride to help Samantha get to the ParaOlympic Trials, leaving from the nearby Competitive Edge Cyclery or, yet another event right here in town, the Ride to End Epilepsy. All these events are public ones. Whatever you end up doing, maybe it will be with many other good people around you and, even if just for a moment, you will think of mom, and it will remind you of what is truly important in our lives.
The pathway is open, just follow it. Oh, and have a great weekend.
what appeared to be a pretty impressive fog bank over at the coast this morning quickly dissipated