Not that long ago, I did something that I think many nice Christian girls dream of doing. I took up with a motorcycle gang. Okay, I am just kidding. Sort of.
I didn’t become a gang member, but I played one on TV while on vacation. Actually, my sweetie loves his ride, and I agreed albeit somewhat grudgingly to go along on a four day motorcycle trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota with some other friends (read: cycle enthusiasts).
This wasn’t my first ride, and it certainly won’t be my last. The begrudging part was while it was a dream destination for my husband, having a sore butt (from not riding often enough), chapped lips and face, and more tangles than Dirty Sally ever encountered are not my go-to ideas of a great time. My fantasy vacations involve sandy shores, lots of seafood (with sweet tea, of course), and just enough sea-spray to give my natural curls a permanent beach-wave.
Because I love my sweetie, I “signed on the dotted line” to go for an adventure of a lifetime. That it was in more ways than one. At one point on the trip, I leaned in close and whispered (this is a relative term on bike speeding down the road) about how I cannot imagine how one could ever drive through Spearfish Canyon and enjoy it without being on a cycle. I think that was the moment sweetie longed for – me to love what he loves doing.
There was much more to that trip than one moment, and perhaps someday, I will share more. But for anyone who follows this blog at all, the second you see the words “Kandy” and “trip”, you know it is time to grab something to drink, some Kleenex, and get ready for another crazy “How does she end up in these places?” story.
As I have already confessed, every day my bum was as sore as that one time I tried the “Buns of Steel” work-out video in college. If I knew all I needed to get a gluteal work-out was spend hours on the back of a motorcycle, well I would have taken this up biker babe thing long before my thirties.
Bun work-out is one thing. Intestinal fortitude is another.
On our first full day of riding, all was going well . . . until it wasn’t.
My stomach started churn. I felt like the horsepower under my rear was gaining strength in my intestines. We made a pit stop to fuel up – both the rides and ourselves. I politely declined as I made a beeline to the bathroom.
I was there a long time, actually praying asking God to not let me ruin this vacation for my husband. I wanted it to be all that he wanted it to be.
(I later learned that he was ready to send in a search party because I didn’t come back.)
Meanwhile back in the bathroom, another fellow traveler was having similar troubles.
I overheard a momma trying to console a weary (and sick) child with promises of not being far from home and apologies that the hot dog didn’t agree with the medicine. Eventually, we both came out to use the one sink at the same time. The sick baby was a three year old little boy who was a little taken aback when he saw me all dressed in leather.
I told the momma I didn’t mind waiting for them to use the sink first, knowing how hard it is to travel with sick kiddos. I helped her the best way I could. Then with tired eyes, she explained what I had overheard. She didn’t have to do that, but I was in the right place at the right time, and despite my tough biker chick façade, I know she could see my eyes held the key to a gentle soul.
My son has leukemia. The chemo he is taking is really taking a toll on him.
I teared up and gave her a hug. It was all I had to offer.
She quickly exited as her number one priority was to get to the safety of her home. HOME – the powerful siren’s call that we all long to hear.
After washing up in the bathroom, I ran as fast as I could outside hoping to catch her. She was just backing away from the gas station when I lightly rapped on her side door.
As she rolled the window down, I asked her what her son’s name was and told her I would be praying for him, for them. Tears were all she had to offer.
As I walked back to my gang, who now had faces of bewilderment, I staved off their obvious questions of what exactly just happened here with the only answer that made sense.
God made me sick so I could help that little boy and his momma.
He needed me to be in that bathroom at that moment to give encouragement to one momma who desperately needed to know that someone cared. The funny thing is my stomach was fine from that moment forward. God just needed to slow me down for a little while.
So, little Gavin, wherever you are: I will never forget how God put us together in that bathroom. Every time I suit up and ride, I am praying for you on the back of that bike.