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When I was 13 years old about to start a new school, my Dad and I went for a drive with the goal of buying my very first ‘new’ bike. I had bikes before this but they were hand-me-downs so this was a big day.  I recall this day very vividly. My Dad and I talked and talked while driving in his pick up truck while listening to music on the radio. When we arrived at the bike shop, I recognized the bike I dreamed about right away. It was a red “Miyata” and had 10 speeds! ?

Later that day, I went to the mall with my friend for school supplies and was looking forward to getting back home to jump on my bike. When I arrived home at dusk, the house was full of people and I was met with sad faces at curbside. My Dad had died from a sudden massive heart attack when I was away. I remember looking at my red bike leaning up against the garage in my numb state and thinking how life can change so fast. It was really hard to get back on my bike as I felt I would never be able to move through the pain. I did eventually with time and healing jump back on and my red bike became a symbol of the ‘cycle of life’ and the need to continue moving forward and embracing change.

As the years have gone by, I have treasured this red bike and this last special memory with my Dad. It has become an analogy for the ups and downs of life.

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