Final Thoughts for 2011
About 30 thousand miles and one remarkable country with a bunch of great people, all on a motorcycle. I can not think of a better way to have been able to spend my last three birthdays. I still get asked by everyone, as I’m sure it is the same with the rest of the guys, “what is your favorite part of the trip or which state did you like the best?”. For me, I can not pick one over the other. They all have their own beauty and things that make them stand out in their own unique way. We all have been very fortunate to be able to enjoy it on motorcycle.
It is hard to explain to someone who has never experienced riding what it’s like to feel the warm wind in your face as you ride across the desert or the way the rain feels as it hits your face. I never knew water was so hard, then add some cold weather to it and let it freeze and it will about knock you off the bike. Now, mother nature can be rough on you but the man made stuff is even worse. There is nothin quite like being sucked in when a big truck goes speeding by you or the way your tail bone feels and winds up on your shoulders when you drop into a pot hole going 60 mph. Then don’t let someone drive on the shoulder of the road in front of you. When this happens, you will know first hand what it feels like to be shot with a shotgun.
So why on Earth would anyone want to ride a motorcycle? The only way you can get that answer is to hop on one and take a ride. Once you get hooked like I did eleven years ago, add a new element to your ride. Ride for something. Dare to try and make a difference. I had no idea that the difference that would be made would be in my life. Its kinda funny me doing something for kids when I don’t even have kids. People ask me all the time how many kids I have. You should see the looks of disbelief I get when I say none.
Then the next question that some will ask is did you lose a child. I’m sure I have this blank stare on my face when I say no. Then I think to myself if I had how would I answer that. I could not even begin to imagine how that would feel. When I look around and see kids they are so full of life and energy, they want to explore and try and do new things. For them, everyday is a new adventure, a new thrill or a quick disappointment follow by some tears, and five minutes later the smiles and the laughter are back. Oh to be young again.
Now make a trip to the NICU. For these kids, everyday is an adventure also. It is just of a different kind. You won’t see any tears, at least not from the kids. The parents is a different story. They are in a fight. A fight for their life. They don’t have time for tears. With every passing second, they are beating the odds. Ten years ago, they probably would not have even made it this far, but not today. Today they are here with there fist clinched and ready for the fight.
The first time I saw this, I was touched. I was touched by the will that the little of the littlest have to survive. I was touched by the parents that stood over their child not knowing what to do. I was touched by the compassion from the care givers. I was touched by parents who come up to me and tell me there child was a CMN baby. I have cried with parents who have lost a child because they were born just a little too soon to be able to make the fight. What could I do? How could I make a difference? Could I even make a difference?
A few years passed from the first time I was in the NICU. I would think of this place when I would see kids out playing, but that would be all I would do: just think about it. Then at the young age of fifty all that would change. Out of nowhere a simple trip across the country changed all of that. The miracle ride was born. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought it would turn into what it has turned into. To set the record straight, the only part I play in this is the rider. The true miracles are the ones who stay back here and make everything happen. If any credit is due, it is to fokes back home. We are just the guys on the bikes with one thing on our mind and that is to try and make a difference in one life. The ironic part is that the life that it has made a difference in has been mine. Thank you for all of the support and love that we have felt from each and every one of you.
I love you all