Michael, Michael, Motorcycle…

April 13th

As I busy myself with Passover/Shabbat cooking, I realize that today Michael would have been only 62 years old.

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He was born 9 months after our parents were married…ahhh, the good ole days. It was a Wednesday. Two years and one day later, on Sunday, April 14, 1957, Kathy was born – kinda like Irish twins, but not exactly…

I remember my father telling me a story about when he and my mother first brought Michael home from the hospital. As Michael slept, my parents kept their apartment so quiet a pin drop sounded like thunder. Soon after his arrival home, a neighbor who worked as a nurse stopped by to see my parents’ new bundle of joy. Noting the absolute quiet and being shushed several times, the neighbor told my parents that keeping the home quiet would never help Michael learn how to sleep. Therefore, they must make as much noise as any given day of noise they would normally make in their home. This advice I never forgot and practiced after giving birth and returning home with my daughter on March 13, 1999. From vacuums to lawn mowers, suffice it to say, the kid can sleep through a tornado sucking up our house in New Jersey and crash landing in California during a magnitude 10 earthquake only to wake up and complain that her covers were missing. My job as a good mother is complete…

Passover has also put a damper on my bike riding…and, of course, the weather has been fabulous and I can’t ride. G-d challenges me with every increased degree of the thermometer and each cloudless sky. I spent the past week enviously watching fellow cyclists from the living room window cruise up and down my street in their flashy bright kits, mocking me as they fly through the air with smiles of cycling ecstasy…”F**k you!” I shout through locked windows. “Go ahead! Show off, you bastards!”

So finally, last Sunday I managed to sneak out for an hour and ride to my go-to place…and, of course, this is what happened:

I managed to find the one sliver of glass on the road that punctured a hole in my tire…and, of course, it was the back tire…which I hate to change…because more often than not, of course, I discover that I have the wrong tubes in my pack and I can never figure out how the chain goes back on the tire and the tire back onto the frame…

Naturally I took a couple of photos while I waited for my husband to pick me up (with my tail between my legs, of course)…

Aside from the sun dial being wrong (is that possible?!), I often find trails of jet fuel in the sky when I ride – it always makes me think of Michael. At his funeral in New Jersey, a number of jets flew over the chapel. Granted, McGuire Air Force Base is only 6 miles away from the military cemetery, but I like to think how cool it was that planes were flying over my brother as we laid him to rest…

And, because of my devotion all the past week (along with a sliver of glass), G-d decided I deserved a nice bike ride…of course, after cursing out my colleagues all week long…

I found a bicycle cemetery behind the Camden County Parks Department in a field that used to be a horse farm. I also found a lone tulip in my back yard that has never bloomed before. And, of course, the cherry blossoms of Cherry Hill have emerged…

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Happy Birthday to my beloved brother in heaven!

“I had run for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours.” – Forrest Gump

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