Not Always Together – But Never Alone

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Certain days have a way of falling into a special place, kept as memories, that are treasured forever. Yesterday was one of those days – filled with laughter, fellowship, brotherhood and determination.

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A week or so ago, a ride was put together to Cassoday Kansas, a small town that hosts bikers the first Sunday of the month during the riding season. The ride, suggested by my dear friend Gary Meadows, was to invite some friends to ride along with him to meet up with Soldiers For Jesus, MC – Kansas City Chapter in Cassoday. Gary has been fighting the fight with cancer, and this was his way of showing cancer the true power of the love and support he has behind him.

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I’ve ridden with Gary before. DJ, a mutual friend of ours asked if he and Gary could ride to the rally with me a few years ago, and since I was going by myself, I welcomed it. That particular trip was thrown together in what seemed like a matter of days, and not knowing Gary on a personal level, it was clear to me he is someone who’s path I should have crossed many years before. His sense of humor and his sincerity is as genuine as his laughter. DJ, Gary and I had a great time and everything about the trip was effortless. We met up with Dennis Webb and Roger Larmer at the rally which only added to the experience. Thinking about this ride always brings a smile to my face and will go down as one of my best memories riding to Sturgis.

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So as Sunday morning rolled around and the weatherman predicting favorable conditions, we gathered with Gary and his wife Charlene and Gary’s nurse Dee, who came along to offer not only moral support but also to monitor his condition for the ride. In this group that gathered, I realized the wide range of lives that can be touched by such a good guy.

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If you’ve read anything I’ve written before, you would know I do some of my best thinking from the seat of my motorcycle. I knew when we pulled out of the parking lot I’d have about 100 miles or so to pull some thoughts together. Sometimes these thoughts can be a mixed bag of emotions, some are reflective, but today it was about being present. Both figuratively and literally present.

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Gary, I can only speak for myself but it was truly an honor to ride with you once again. It was inspiring to see the love and support of your fellow bikers, but also your family. I witnessed the emotions and the power of prayer in the parking lot of a Casey’s. I saw the fellowship with the SFJMC-Kansas City as they wrapped their arms around you. I felt the bond between us when we embraced, and the lump in my throat when we spoke. These things I will never forget. The lives you’ve touched goes beyond the mechanics of the motorcycle – your church family and your community are living proof of that. I know I’m a better man because this path I’m on crossed yours.

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We ride – because that’s what we do. Not always together, but never alone. 

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I Believe

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It’s all been said before. We’ve thought it and we’ve uttered these words when we’ve had our doubts. Sometime we just whisper them to ourselves. I Believe. I believe in life after death. I believe in love. True love. I believe in the good in people and the size of their hearts, even when they don’t show it. I believe our actions speak louder than our words. I believe in destiny. I believe we have the ability to overcome whatever it is we’re faced with, even when the odds are stacked against us. I believe in a healing touch. I believe in prayer. I believe in God.

I believe in what’s right. I admit sometimes I don’t believe, and then I find the strength to believe. I believe we don’t know our own strength – mental and physical. I also believe in the power of emotion and experience. I believe that time heals all wounds. I know the scars may remain, but time gives us the ability to understand. I believe that things come full circle. I believe my dog Scout knows me too well. I believe all pets love beyond the wag of a tail. I believe we could be more like them.

 I believe a mile in someone else’s shoes would make us appreciate our own shoes. I believe we should go without shoes more often.

I believe words can hurt and trust can be broken, but I also believe in forgiveness. I believe forgiveness and acceptance can make us grow into better people. I believe in hard work and long days and sweat. I believe we can. I believe we did. I believe we will. I believe in giving more than what you take. I believe in respect. I believe in honor. I believe in holding the door and ladies first. I believe it’s possible, even when nobody thinks so.

I believe in myself. But I also know I can be better. I believe in positive thinking. I believe in second chances. I believe tomorrow is a new day and today will end soon enough. I believe our past doesn’t define who we are and our future is an open book. I believe we were all young once and don’t ever forget it. I believe you’re only as old as you think you are. I believe in the kid inside all of us. I believe nice guys finish first – always. And children. I believe in those who are looking at the world and all it has to offer for the very first time.

I believe a smile can say so much. I believe people are good at hiding pain. I believe we need to be patient and have understanding. I believe a mile in someone else’s shoes would make us appreciate our own shoes. I believe we should go without shoes more often. I believe we worry too much. I believe that each day is a gift and we should treat it as such.

I believe in us; We the People and what we are capable of. Together. I Believe.