My grandma called me on my birthday this year. I was in DC at a museum exhibit for the House of Sweden. I stepped out of the exhibit, took a moment to remind myself to speak loudly/clearly/slowly, and picked up. She told me about how she wanted to give me some extra money for my birthday to help cover part of the expenses of a fancy adult bike. I didn’t fully know it then, despite always anticipating it being the case, but that would be my last phone call with her. It didn’t last long–7 minutes at most. Before hanging up, I told her how excited I was to bike around and how I’d make sure to wear a helmet.
Today, I did exactly that on a brand new bike she helped me buy. I set out to ride 10 miles but I felt so damn good I made it a bit over 20. I still wear two of her rings and I glanced down at them periodically as if to summon her before turning my gaze around me willing her to see what I could. I didn’t feel sad at all. I simply felt grateful.
I’ve only ever had two bikes in my life and my grandparents bought both. My trusty, yellow kid-sized mountain bike and now this slick, all black, fancy bike that I have to nearly force into my minicooper to fit (with the front wheel taken off). Each adventure I go on, I hope I think of her.