Posted by Kevin on Sep 30 2010
Yesterday was a light volume day at Local Motion’s Trailside Center. We were busy with the many projects that get put on hold during the hectic summer months when Dee, a petite 85 year-old woman, shyly walked through our door. Marion greeted her with a smile and listened as the woman explained her reason for coming in.
“My son tells me that I am too old to ride a bicycle. He thinks that I should get a tricycle,” she said. “I don’t want a tricycle. I know that I can still ride a bicycle.”
She went on to tell Marion of her upbringing in Shanghai where the bike was her primary mode of transportation. She was determined that she could still ride and asked Marion if she could rent a youth bike to refresh the long dormant skills that had carried her in her youth.
Marion set her up on a single-speed bike with swept-back handlebars and a wide, supportive saddle. There was a wobble or two at first and Dee had to relearn the coaster brake, but soon she was off, pedaling down the bike path toward Waterfront Park. She wheeled through the adjacent parking lot, beaming with the satisfaction of once again gliding along on two wheels.
After 20 minutes she returned to the Trailside Center, prepared to pay the rental fee for the bike. Marion told her, “There is no fee. It is our gift to you.”
“No, no, I must pay you for the use of the bike,” Dee replied. “It’s not fair that I should not pay you.”
Marion smiled back and explained, “Now I know that you have a mother and I’m sure that your mother has told you that some things in life just aren’t fair. This is our gift. Please accept it from us.”
Dee thanked Marion profusely and walked toward the door, then turned and looked back.
“I cannot leave without giving you something,” she implored.
“You have brightened my day immeasurably,” Marion assured her. “That is your gift to me.”
Dee offered another thank you and walked out the door as Marion looked my way and it was evident that the pleasure derived from the encounter was truly immeasurable.
This morning, soon after opening the Trailside Center, Dee returned with a gift which she handed to Marion – a tub of Italian chocolates with a note that read, “For Marion, much appreciation. Thanks, Dee.”
She left with a promise to return and ride again, inspiration for us all.
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