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This is what victory looks like.
This is my Dad, the original Duane – standing in the place where his accident happened.
He stands tall, humbly yet powerfully on the plot of ground that tried to take everything from him. He stands in gratitude, for though he lost his old life, he was given a chance to create a new one.
He is the victor.
Life was not easy for him. Not only did he have a hard time doing the things that you and I take for granted and often do too much of:
eating and talking –
but he knew what it was like to be “normal”, and had to live with the knowledge he’d never again be like he used to be.
My Dad had every reason in the world to be bitter, angry, resentful…
…never was there a more humble, grateful, peaceful man than my Dad. He radiated joy. Even though he was kind of awkward to try to converse with, he seemed to make friends everywhere he went.
His soul was completely devoid of fear, guile, or regret.
I’m driving my parents around downtown Salt Lake City to run some errands. We pull up to an intersection, and in the lane next to us, is a guy on a big noisy Harley.
My Dad looked over at the biker. His face lit up. A smile spread across his face. He slowly nodded his head a few times in the affirmative, as if to say, “If I could get on that bike right now, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I regret nothing.”
There are times in life when knowing arrives.
Knowing doesn’t come with a lot of fanfare, it doesn’t need any. Truth is truth and is secure in itself. No amount of wrapping paper or bolstering will change the facts. It is plain. It is simple.
In that moment, a small but certain switch flipped inside of me. Despite the fact it would destroy my mother…
I knew with total clarity:
I will get a motorcycle.
I will learn to ride.
I will do important work on the road.
I will make my Father proud.
I will break the cycle of fear.
The only relevant questions at this point were:
- what kind of bike
Next: motorcycle messengers