Sunday, May 3, 2009

Riding into freedom

There's so much to tell.

In a previous post I had shared with you that my ex-husband, Mancub's father, wanted to purchase a bicycle for him. Sadly, his dad lost one of his part-time jobs and his finances have suffered. Having discussed in his social studies class the financial crisis our country is experiencing, he quickly accepted the situation and offered a sympathetic word of reassurance that he understood.

That's my boy. Who's raising this amazing young man? Wow! Go on. You can say it. Wow!

With the best of intentions I told Mancub that I'd find the means to buy him a bike. Summer is quickly approaching and I want him to be able to bask in the sunshine rather than always laying on the couch making time with Cartoon Network and various video games.

A trip to the dentist killed any hopes of me buying the 2-wheeled entertainment center. A crown needed to be replaced. Even with insurance it would cost me a cool $600.00. Holy SHIT! Go on. you can say. HOLY SHIT!! I also received a new filling (cripes) and a replacement filling in the tooth that was crowned.

In spite of my constant declaration that I hate all people with a special dislike (greatly exaggerated for entertainment purposes) for my co-workers, I do share portions of my personal life. I told my lab manager about my ex-husband's plan to buy a bike and then the retraction of said offer. He's a father of 4 and fully realizes the difficulty ... but more so he empathizes with me for being the sole parent for Mancub.

Over the course of the last couple of weeks the word got around about the bicycle situation. I didn't mind as I hadn't sworn anyone to secrecy. What I thought was basic compassion and thoughtfulness over the mountain bike quandary turned out to be covert action.

Jan, a co-worker, informed me that her friend had 3 bikes and wanted to give one away. She assured me it was nothing fancy and required some work, but she'd like to donate it to Mancub. Gratefully, I accepted her offer. On Friday, May 1 she delivered it to my home. It did need work, but in the face of nothing, this was truly something.

Later that afternoon, my selfless co-worker and friend Jen called to see if I was home. It was my day off and we chit chatted for a few minutes; cursing things that irritate us at work. In that time she asked if it would be OK to drop by. She and her daughter were in the neighborhood and just wanted to visit. She promised not to stay long as I was fixing dinner. I welcomed the company.

The day was cool but beautiful so I stepped out. Jen's youngest daughter accompanied her. In Jen's hand was a yellow envelope. "Open it."

With natural suspicion I eased open the envelope ... the card read: "So Glad We're Friends" inside: "Happy things happen when you've got a friend." In her handwriting "Because we love you. This is our way of thanking you for all you do." On the opposite side of the card was a list of names. Jen, Jen's mom, Manny, Scott, Crystal, Sue and her mom, Alan, Donna, Dr. P, Dr. C, Judi, Linda, Doug and the lady at the gas station.

In these times of economic strain it's hard to pull together money for a lunch out or anything out of necessary means. Everyone at work has had their hours and or pay cut. It's stressful. No one has been unscathed in this time of recession. But ...

My co-workers who've been subjected to my often prickly persona found it in their hearts to pool together $200.00 in the form of a Wal-Mart gift card.

Tears.

More tears with an embrace.

Sobs.

Mancub stood inside the screened door shocked.

My breath was taken away. Rendered speechless, I hugged Jen again. Her daughter stood by with a big grin on her face. She enjoyed being party to this astonishing delivery.

Today is a gloriously sunny, spring day. With the windows and sunroof wide open we set off to Wal-Mart. A friend of Mancub's was riding his bike down the road. He shouted from the car window, "'sup Cody!!"

*smile*

It was strenuous loading the bike into the Saturn. It's roomie until you need it to be a truck. Ugh! Swear words were tossed out.

As we unloaded the car of our purchases that same friend who Mancub shouted to arrived at our house. I must tell you this is a first. Mancub has mentioned this boy being on his bus, but never have they interacted outside of school. As I pumped up the tires, Cody conversed comfortably. He was polite and introduced himself. He told me how he and Mancub had been friends for awhile and he was happy to see him outside. He bid his farewell and told Mancub he'd see him at school. I took the bike for a trial run (owwy).

While I was riding about, Cody returned. Mancub had slipped inside the house. I hollered out for him, but he didn't reply. He'd gone in to use the bathroom. Cody talked to me while he waited for Mancub to finish up. Immediately he asked if it'd be OK for Mancub to go to his house. He started rattling off all the neat things he had ... including an X-Box 360. He informed me his parents were home and certain they'd not mind Mancub coming over.

With a new bike came a renewed friendship. That bike has a greater value than my co-workers might realize. My heart swelled as I watched the boys make their way down the street. I felt inspired by humanity.

... when the boys returned Cody asked if he and Mancub could hang out more next weekend. With an exuberant smile on his face Mancub echoed "yeah, can we hang out this weekend?"

*quiet tears*

7 comments:

  1. Woot! That young man looks ready to take on the world in that pic. (Nice choice of bikes, BTW!)

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  2. Fantastic! This post truly made my day complete. I couldn't be happier for you the proud Mom and your son. May he enjoy that bike for a long time to come!

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  3. You, my friend, are George Bailey.

    You might not realize the lives you touch, but you certainly made this one happier... all the way across the country. What a great story!! I adore ManCub and wish him happy trails with his new present!! XO

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  4. Lydia, that's probably the nicest compliment anyone has given me in a long while. That's not to say that I've gone without praise, but I love George. He's ingrained in my DNA

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  5. What a beautiful thing....I'm so happy for you and Mancub. Have fun on the trails!

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  6. Life would indeed be a harsh experience without your friends :)

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  7. Wow! You do indeed have great friends. This made me all teary eyed. I'm so happy for both of you!

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