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  • I am a 43-year-old woman and recently pushed road biking into my exercise routine. What a kick it has been to learn the technical specifics of the bike and maneuver inclines and descents. Part of the fun is riding with others. Each Sunday morning I meet up with a variable sized group for a 2 to 3 hour ride. Whoever is there at 7:00am is in. I meet a partner on my side of the mountain then we ride over a scenic road to meet the pack on the other side. From there we have a known route we follow together. This morning my partner wasn’t going to join me, he texted to say he injured his shoulder, so I headed over the mountain on my own to meet the others. No one was at our meeting spot so at 7:05 am I decided to ride alone to a picturesque and challenging canyon up the road. On the way up, I took a quick detour to ride past the home where my grandparents had lived for many years before they both died. It was and is well kept and modest. When I saw it I thought of my Nana, my maternal grandmother, a simple woman with two forces in her life: family and faith. Her name was Merry.

    Once I got to the base of the canyon road, I watered up and started the climb. I had music playing from my phone stuck in my sports bra. I started the steady work of getting to the top by way of roller coaster hills. It was a beautiful view in every direction. I stopped at the top of the road for more water and to fully take in the views. I pulled my phone out to snap a picture and saw I had a message from a close girlfriend, it read: “You are ever present in our thoughts today and always. We love you.” It is the 8th anniversary of my daughter’s death. I stood there and let it sink in that it has been 8 years since we said goodbye to her. She was 2 ½ years old. Her name was Merry.

    Before getting back on the bike I looked around at the greening mountains against blue sky and white clouds. I was looking for her. Then I saw a small cloud with the spectrum of the rainbow across it. It was peculiar and beautiful. I found her, a sign of her. I tried to take a picture of it with my phone but the colors didn’t come through. I realized that the colors were more vivid through my sunglasses so I took a picture through one of the lenses but the colors still did not show. I gave up trying to capture it. I began my ride down. The steep ride down is always fast; at times my speed close to 35 mph. I kept looking back at the cloud, but each time I did I was not in proper control of the bike. I said to myself, “If you keep looking back you will wreck. Look forward.”

    July 22, 2012
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