I was about 9 years old. It was the first weekend the weather shifted and by mid-April that’s a rather welcome good bye to winter. We brought our bikes up from the basement. Mine was a deep metallic royal blue, no fancy gears or add ons, which I had received for my birthday the summer before and was so excited to ride again. We rode around until it was time for the event (that I don’t remember) but I had to get dressed up (that I do remember – a light blue linen dress with a sweetheart neckline and pink satin ribbon at the hem and sleeves – everyone told me how grown up I looked.) We had company over after and as was our tradition, we rode our bikes down the long stone covered driveway, as the people leaving attempted to avoid falling into the ravines on either side as they backed out, shouting and waving good bye.
I don’t remember the fall itself – what I clipped or why I skidded out. All I felt was the weight of the bike and the gravel stones shredding my leg from my ankle to my knee. There was blood everywhere. But before I even fully realized what had happened, my Dad was there, picking me up and carrying me back to the house.
It was the same sort of day today. The warmth encouraging everyone to be outside. But we were Grandpa-sitting and my Dad (now 78 and stricken with an offshoot of Parkinson’s) is confined to a wheel chair and there was no way to maneuver it outside over the step with him in it. So I lifted and held him and we managed the two steps up, two steps over without falling – as the above reminiscence came at me in a flash – almost as if we were completing a circle.