(This started as a comment on Big Jim Slade's piece about missing the Ride for Hope. As I recanted the story in the little comment box, I felt it deserved more. I know that words on this little piece of seldom visited internets isn't much, but it's what I have to offer. )
I had kind of lost touch with what this event was really about, this year. I was more worried about the logistics of herding cats, and getting myself and my crew on the same page.
I got to the event late, and missed the start with the century folks. I think that was a gift.
While I was chatting with everyone I know(Bigworm for Mayor!!), a guy on a trike smiles and waves. I just thought he was being friendly. Turns out, he was actually smiling at me, specifically. He rolled over and said, Hi. His smile was infectious, despite struggling to tell me who he was. I knew he was familiar, but I just couldn't quite place him. Turns out his name is Kevin, and he was a regular customer, from back in my shop days. At that point I remembered his smiling face, on top of a strong, 6' tall, healthy body. He told me he had been diagnosed with brain cancer, and that being able to ride this day was a gift from God.
Kevin was on my mind a lot that day. A couple of years ago, all I could think about as I cramped and suffered in the heat, was my mother in law, that I had watched wither under the scourge of cancer and the dreadfulness of what we consider treatment for this disease.
Kevin was right about that gift. Thanks for reminding folks, Big Jim.