If you are following the blog you have probably noticed that I have not written in a couple of weeks. No, I have not taken ill. No, I’ve not been too busy. I could probably come up with a dozen excuses but in all truthfulness I just needed some extra time to actually think a bit more about this whole process and the things that it is teaching me along the way and how I need to convey my feelings to myself and to you. Trust me, I’ve been very busy behind the scenes. One of the biggest and best things I have done for myself in the short journey is forge many new relationships both here in my home town and all over the country. I’ve met so many new people already and I have not taken the bike out of the garage yet. People from around the country who I don’t even know have taken the time to read my story and donate to the ride. Some folks have offered meals, a place to stay for the night or just words of support. They have all been positive and it feels wonderful doing something that you truly find enjoyment in and in turn have others respond in kind.
One of the stories about relationships that I want to share with you is a very personal one. When Chris and I first got married we blended our families together. She had 2 children and I had 2 children and we purchased a large home so everyone had the space they needed. Her kids were already in their teen years as mine were a bit younger. Her oldest, (Forest) was nearly 17 when we got married and was a Junior in high school. Forest certainly had a mind of his own, however he did not bother me and I don’t think I really bothered him. Aside from teaching him how to drive a stick shift and helping him get his first job there was not much for me to do. He was extremely smart and was very much into computers and techy things and that just became his forte. He went to the School of Mines and Technology after high school and graduated of course and moved on. Over the years I think we both came to realize that we were probably very much polar opposites. Our views of the world were different. Our political views were certainly different. His views on religion and mine were not the same. I was into business, motorcycles, guns, car racing and watching sports, he was not. We always were friendly to one another at holidays and family times and aside from some useless political discussions probably never had any ill feelings toward one another yet we never seemed to form an extremely close relationship. It was not until early December this past year and Forest flew home for a visit. I told Chris when the family got together for dinner I wanted to break the news to the family about the upcoming ride. Forest stepped up right away and really was pretty excited about the journey and said he would like to help if he could. At that time I already had planned on hiring a marketing company to build the website and help me with the social media aspect of it but as the days and weeks moved on that did not work out so well and it left me in a bit of a quandary.
Forest and his wife Nikki flew home for Christmas and I told him about the marketing company and the large cost associated with it so he offered to get together with me and help plan a website. Since that time obviously we have this thing up and running and I could not be happier. Forest has done all the layout for the website. All I had to do is write and he would do the rest. He has however allowed me to get in and play a bit, make some changes where I wanted and I have actually created a page or 2. We talk on a regular basis through video chat about our next steps and his advise has been invaluable. More importantly I feel through the process we have connected a bit deeper and our conversations are about a lot more than just a website for Cancer Awareness. Of the many relationships that this campaign has given me, none are as important as the one I have just described with my step-son. It’s hard to put into words the feelings I have for him. Forest is now 35 years old, has a very nice career in the tech world and married to a wonderful wife. I don’t think I’ll ever have to worry about him making a good life for himself. It saddens me that over the past 18 plus years I have not taken the time to really connect with Forest. The sadder part however is that CANCER brought this relationship together just as it has the rest of them, but I will use this as a life lesson and Ride On. Thank you Forest for all you have done and continue to do for the project. But most of all, thank you for being a wonderful step-son and helping me accomplish all of this and I look forward to our relationship growing form here.
Cancer does not have to tear everything apart, it can be useful if you make the best of it.