Riding Around with Chandler
I love this! Someone took an actual photo of Chandler getting air on his BMX bike and made it into decals for us. Every time I pop open my hatch or walk to my car, there he is. My son who defied gravity virtually from birth.
Last summer Chandler began putting together his customized BMX bike after not biking for a while. He was so proud of his creation. Part of me hates that damn bike. But I know it brought him so much joy.
Whenever I see a biker on the street, my heart beats a little faster. Just another reminder.
Today Charli and I stopped by his bike memorial at the corner of Via Honesto and Antonio. We cleaned up some of the dead flowers but left the ones that had been placed in the spokes the day we set up the memorial. It makes me happy to see new tokens of remembrance of Chandler - a pretty succulent, a miniature rose bush, notes from Courtney and Rachael (loved your words to Chandler!), more flowers and candles, and a couple of really cool handmade ornaments hanging from the bike. One had puzzle pieces on it. So cool that someone knows our story of the unfinished puzzle in the ICU waiting room because some JERK disassembled it before we could finish. No, I’m not bitter.
I brought a string of solar lights to wrap around the bike so it’s lit up again at night like it was when the LED lights were working. We’ll see tomorrow night if they actually work. It just seems fitting that Chandler (which, as Charli pointed out, means candle-maker) would have a bike memorial that shines through the darkness.
The bike memorial is enigmatic for me. On the one hand, it makes me happy to pass by and see the tokens of love and remember how Chandler just drew that kind of love to himself because he loved people—unconditionally. On the other hand, it triggers all kinds of painful stories. I say stories because I wasn’t there. I didn’t see what happened. So my mind creates stories to fill in the blanks between when Chandler ran down the stairs shouting, “Gotta get to work…love you” and when I got a phone call at TJ Maxx telling me he was at the hospital and had been hit by a car while riding his bike. All I know for sure is that the blanks that matter were filled at the corner of Via Honesto and Antonio.
At the site of that beautiful, cruel bike memorial.