My Father’s Ride


My father died two weeks ago today.

It wasn’t unexpected, but somehow it was sudden. I’m reminded of how Hemingway says we go broke – that is, gradually then suddenly – when I think about my dad’s decline. For four years he struggled mightily and fought valiantly against his cancer, pounding through peaks and valleys, good times and bad, until his body couldn’t take it anymore. He gave up the fight two weeks ago today, and I was there.

I’ve been saying I’m blessed to have a fairly uncomplicated relationship with my dad – he was my dad, I was his only son and we loved each other. Uncomplicated, but of course there are regrets. I regret not spending more time with him after he was diagnosed. I regret not being able to fix up that old motorcycle with him. And I regret not going on a cross-country motorcycle ride with him.

When my dad turned 60, he bought a motorcycle and rode it to California for my wedding. After spending a week in Ojai, he got back on his bike and rode it up the West Coast to Yakima, Washington where my family lived in the late 1970s and then headed back home to Ohio. I always admired him for that. I never got to do something like that with him while he was alive, but now I’m going to take that ride with him, recreating his route on his bike. Using the journal he kept on his ride, I’ll make the same stops he did, recreating and retelling his story while adding my own chapters.

After all, isn’t that what all sons do to their fathers’ stories?

5 Responses to My Father’s Ride

  1. Dan Housepian says:

    Chris, I look forward to your trip and journal… perhaps some day some Friday morning coffee we can talk. I hope our families can stay connected and continue to share life together.

  2. Judie Fajardo says:

    Just read this to Raul through misty eyes. <3

  3. David jansen says:

    I look forward to your journal as your fathEr told me about the trip at your wedding reception.

  4. Carla Pflug says:

    Blue, I look forward to your adventure and I hope you write a book about it because it is obvious you have a gift for writing. Your dad would be very proud.

  5. Kathryn Housepian says:

    Another day. More tears. I refuse to accept that he’s gone. God bless on your journey.

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