Filed under: Random Messages from Your Brother that Make Your Day

This past week has been emotionally, mentally and physically taxing and I’m still trying to process everything that has transpired—from the point of signing my lease for my new studio to all the hard work that went into the space to the frantic frenzy of hauling my shit out and into a storage locker because of a situation that escalated so fast, all within a few short weeks—right now the only word I can come up with to define the events is surreal…when I finally shake it out and sort it all out, I’ll share the deets with y’all (incidentally, my ex landlord said, early in our short-lived relationship, that he wanted to read some of my writing—won’t he be surprised to find himself as the main character in my next essay), but until I find the time and energy to do craft that piece, I thought I’d share this sweet li’l story with you all, instead. It’s stuff like this, happening all around us, all the time, even in the midst of shitstorms—especially in the midst of shitstorms—that keeps me going.

So, I got a text from my brother, Kurt, today, telling me to check my email inbox because he’d sent me a message about a story he thought I’d enjoy. He’s right, and here it is:

Hey big sis! 

Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know about a pretty cool thing that transpired out of helping you move your stuff last week…at least I think it’s pretty cool. As you know, I rode up with Mikey and his boys last Saturday and our conversations ranged from mundane to the bizarre…as is apt to happen when you talk about Mikey’s life! 🙂 
Well, at one point we started talking about Noah and his college experience so far and at then I made mention of the fact that Noah was looking for a bike to make it easier to get around on the U of M campus. We actually had been looking around for a bike for him for a couple weeks, but really hadn’t found anything. 
At that point Mike made mention of the fact that he had Bob’s old bike, that you had given him a few years back, and while Mike’s intentions were good about riding it, he said he never really got around to it. He said it has just been hanging up in his garage for a couple years and that it was Noah’s if he wanted it. 
Well, long story short, I took Mike up on the offer the day after we helped you move. Then, after some fresh air for the tires and some light maintenance, Teresa, Shea and I hauled that two-wheeled beauty up to the U last Sunday and Noah has been wheeling around like a mad man around campus…the same campus Bob used to roam. 
Noah said it has been working like a charm and has cut his 25-minute commute to his furthest class to just 8-minutes, not to mention making it easier for him, living on West Bank, to access the parts of campus way on the other side of the river. He said it’s pretty special wheeling across the Washington Avenue bridge with the wind at his face and the beautiful view in the distance — a view I’m sure Bob appreciated often during his collegiate days. 
Anyway, just wanted to share that little story because I kind of got chills thinking about it last week. I’ve also sent you a picture of the Bike of Bob that Noah shot of it on campus and to let you Noah is well aware of the connection this bike has .  
Have a great weekend and hopefully we’ll see you around soon!

Bob’s old bike (and I mean old) and its 2nd life as Noah’s Wheels at the U…

First things first: For the record, I am younger and smaller than my brother Kurt. Second, it warms my heart beyond words to know that another piece of Bob in his earthly form has infiltrated a loved one’s life, bringing joy and happiness to said loved one, and has cut this loved one’s commuting-to-class time from 25 minutes to a mere eight. #winningatthiscollegethingy
Second things second. You may or may not know that I don’t have conventional religious beliefs. Hell, I don’t even know if I have unconventional religious beliefs. But I do know that I’m continually questioning life—no special reason, just the way I am—and as such, I’m in a state of constant awe because so many random, beautiful things that keep on happening in life, even when things feel especially challenging. It almost gets to the point where I feel the need to stop and cry out:  STOP IT ALREADY, UNIVERSE. I MEAN IT—I CAN’T KEEP UP, OKAY??!! Which causes me to think that there has to be a purpose for our being here on this planet, otherwise, why the hell care about anyone or anything?
I was sharing my story of this past week with a dear friend the other night over dinner, a friend who also lost her husband to a long, gruesome battle with cancer. She had such kind, loving words of wisdom to share with me: “Don’t allow this asshole of an ex landlord to extinguish your fire, Jen.” That was the first part of her message. Which was plenty good and plenty true. And could easily be a bumper sticker for life in general: “Don’t let the assholes extinguish your fire.” I wryly commented, “You know, Deb. It’s times like this that I get so pissed at Bob for up and dying on me—abandoning me—to deal with the unnecessarily stressful shit of life all by myself.” I laughed and said, “I know that’s irrational and immature and completely untrue—I’ve had so much help and support and for all of that, I’m so grateful—but still…
Deb then said, “You know, Jen, maybe instead of thinking that Bob abandoned you, you could look at it as a way that Bob protected you from a potentially devastating situation…” Her words reminded me of the letters Bob and I used to write to each other; so many of his were signed, “Always with you.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “What the hell do any of us really know, anyway?” But when I let everything else go and simply believe those three words, for a few quiet moments of clarity, I have peace in my heart and I truly believe I do know a helluva lot more than I give myself credit for. We all do. The evidence is all around us, making itself known in so many beautiful, subtle ways—literally showering us with these tiny acts of awesome wonder—but we tend to overlook them in our frantic hoping and wishing and praying for the massive miracles of the dazzling variety…my red-head nephew zipping around the U on Bob’s bike is evidence. Dinner with a dear friend and the gift of wise words, evidence…an opportunity to regroup, reorganize, redo, more evidence…
Moving forward, a quick, vague update: my studio and business plans are being reshaped, redesigned, revisioned. Emerge Pilates, still, coming soon…xxoo

5 thoughts on “Filed under: Random Messages from Your Brother that Make Your Day

  1. Not sure what this says about me, but I’ve never, ever, not for one moment …. even in the deepest depths of shitdom …. ever believed anything was going to stop you. Slow you down? Sure. Knock you down? Probably. But maybe it’s the red hair …. visual sign that there is still a lot of fire in there. A space will make itself found. That bad landlord thing, eventually you’ll probably think, “Dodged a bullet there!” The bike hung in a garage for a while, but it found its wings again. You will too.


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