Let the new year begin

Looking over the last year, I’ve moved, moved, and then moved again, eventually ending back up where I started – out on the farm on the High Plains of near-Eastern Colorado (still well within view and driving distance of the mountains, but smelling distinctly of farmland in the summer time).

There has been some great stuff that happened this year, like finishing my book. I went for some good rides – about 15,000 miles total for the year. It doesn’t feel like I rode that much, but that’s what the odometer is telling me. Of course I didn’t have a car for a good part of the year, so maybe that’s where all those miles came from.

I fell in and out of love quickly. I came to the conclusion I’m in love with the idea of being in love. I am. I won’t try and deny it. I also know that I won’t try and force love if it isn’t there. Better to go through the short-term angst of “loved and lost” than being miserable for life. Still, it made for some lonely holidays, which brings me to that which hurts so much.

Webb RivardWebb, my friend and tattooist, was injured in Deadwood last year (2010) during the rally. It wasn’t a motorcycle wreck; he fell through a landing at a hotel in Deadwood. It screwed up his back, and he struggled with a lot of pain for the next year. In the middle of 2011, he started wasting away. Several visits to the doctor showed nothing, then suddenly he had cancer everywhere. It was at a fundraiser for Webb and his wife Vicki on October 6 at NoCo Studio that most of us found out about Webb’s condition.

Webb didn’t respond well to treatment and was sent home with hospice care. We knew he didn’t have a lot of time left, but I don’t think anyone expected him to pass so quickly. Shortly after midnight, on December 23, he passed away. The morning before he died, Vicki was very sick with Pancreatitis and ended up in the hospital. She hadn’t left his side before this, and it’s heartbreaking that she was not with him. I’ve spent a lot of time with her since then. I wish I knew what to say to make it better, but there is nothing. All we can do is pray that Vicki is able to heal and see the beauty in life again.

Today, New Year’s Day, I took Vicki to the Vineyard Church in Fort Collins to discuss funeral arrangements with Pastor Mark. I learned how Webb got his name, and it’s not what you think. I fought back tears and watched them fall freely from Vicki’s face as we talked about how getting a tattoo from Webb was more than just ink. I’m grateful I was able to get some beautiful cherry blossoms as one of his last works of art. And since I’m getting all teary-eyed again, I’ll leave it at that. The service is on Wednesday, January 4th at 2PM.

Praying for love, health and many care-free miles for everyone in 2012.

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