It’s so beautiful out lately and motorcyclists seem to be everywhere. Each time I see a Harley rider, with black leather jacket and boots, it reminds me of a story I wrote a few years ago. Even though I wrote it, each time I read it, it makes me tear up, which I guess is a good thing, since one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost, once said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader. “~ Robert Frost
I still haven’t found the right home for this, but meanwhile I’d like to give it some airtime:
Linette’s Last Ride
Last spring, our school lost a bright and funny twelve-year-old named Linette, after a hard-fought two-year-long battle with cancer. She was much loved and her parents have many friends, so the standing-room-only crowd at the church on the day of her funeral was not surprising. What was a bit surprising – at least to me – was the sight of a long leather-clad line of bikers, solemnly standing, elbow to elbow, across the back of the sanctuary.
A whispered question to my neighbor received a touching response: Linette had ridden with their club on their Make-a-Wish Foundation ride the year before, and as she’d hung onto the back of one of the guys’ bikes, her bald head covered with a tied-on bandana, she’d stolen all their hearts. They were there to say goodbye to her and to go with her all the way on one last ride.
When the hearse left the church for the cemetery, the club members hopped on their bikes and rolled along behind, all black leather, noise, and long hair, oblivious to the stares of passers-by, intent on paying homage to their little friend one more time. Linette would have been thrilled and I learned something new that day. Angels don’t always wear flowing robes and fly around heaven. Sometimes, they wear black leather and ride Harley-Davidsons.