It's been a rough couple of weeks with my grandson falling and breaking his arm, Deb's dads surgery and subsequent passing, followed immediately (as in 3 days later) by her brother's sudden and unexpected passing. Add to this all the arrangements and funerals for the two family members which only stretch out the grief and mourning process and you can see how the past two weeks might conservatively be classified as total SUCKAGE.
Now, I completely understand and believe that everything in our lives is part of God's plan and works to His glory. I also completely understand that, in the grand scheme of life there are people that have and will continue to deal with issues much more overwhelming than those my family is facing. But knowing something in your head and dealing with it in your own life are two different things.
Sometimes, as we wander through the darker valleys in our lives we can begin to believe that things will always be this way and that we'll never see the sunshine again. If you don't take a step back and get a little bit of perspective, its easy to believe that the current situation is the way its always been and always will be.
Its at those times that I know I need to get on the bike and clear out the cobwebs. Its at those times that I need to not think about the circle of life, but instead need to think about different circles....small, continuous circles made with my legs that allow my brain to shut off and check out and get all the voices in my head to shut the heck up for a while.
Thankfully, this past weekend was a three day holiday weekend and, while I had a couple of different options for group rides, I instead decided to take the single speed out for a solo suffer-fest therapy session at Chabot. I was amazed as I showed up at the parking lot to find every single spot full and ended up parking across the road in a construction lot. This does not bode well for time alone on the bike. Once I got on the bike and away from the lake though, I only saw a few other groups of people. Mostly hikers, but a couple of cyclists as well.
The ride was actually pretty uneventful. Long periods of suffering on the climbs, followed by too short periods of trying to get my heart rate under control on the flats and downhill sections. The weather was hotter than I expected and I stopped whenever I felt like it to let my bike have a rest (She needed, I didn't of course)
take photos, sit on a bench or straddle my top tube and stare at the view. As I usually do, I tried to hammer myself into a state of mindlessness on the uphill sections and took it easy on the flats and downhills. After a couple of decent crashes in the past year, I've finally realized I'm not invincible and healing takes a lot longer than it used to.
It wasn't until about half way through the ride that I finally reached my happy place. As I stopped at one of my favorite turnouts to enjoy the view and have a gel, it dawned on me just how blessed our family really is. Did the previous couple of weeks suck? Definitely! Were there going to be some hard times in the future? Absolutely! Does losing family members, no matter what age bite? No Doubt!
BUT, we also have much to be thankful for....we have an amazing family to help us through the tough times, we have roofs over our heads, jobs that pay us, food on the table and a God who loves us enough to share our hurt and our burdens....
As I got back in the truck to head home, knowing I had the same issues waiting for me as when I left, I felt better. Things were back in perspective and as with everything, this too shall pass....
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit