This guest blog is from my daughter, and writing assistant, Jenna Evans Welch. (Yes, the same little Jenna from The Christmas Box, only grown up. Enjoy)
Yesterday I gave my old bike away.
I wheeled it out of the garage and took a long look at its cushy black seat and banana handlebars. I ran a hand over its shiny basket. It was dusty, and a tire was flat. There were some scrapes on its pink body, and the rims of the tires were cracking.
It was the bike I rode the year I lived in Arizona. That was the year I learned to be me. That year I rode it miles and miles between home and ASU’s campus. I rode it to yoga school. I rode it to eat pita bread and feta at my favorite restaurant. I rode it when I didn’t know a soul but was hoping to change that.
I rode it to classes on Shakespeare and short stories and Paradise Lost. I rode it to new friends’ houses, and parties, and my boyfriend’s house.
On Halloween I rode it wearing a pointy black hat and red-and-white striped stockings. (I was humming the Wicked Witch’s theme from The Wizard of Oz.)
I rode it during rain storms and the hottest summer I’d ever sweated through. I rode it past palm trees and road construction. I rode it while I learned to make a community of friends from a group of strangers. I rode it as I learned to be independent, how to take deep breaths when I needed them, and how to take care of myself when I was alone.
Once I rode it while crying. Many times I rode it while laughing.
I rode it while figuring out that how a man looks on paper has nothing to do with what kind of person he is, and that a long list of credentials has no sway on whether or not he’s going to love you.
I rode it while I figured out that the one I’d loved all along really was the right one for me.
And then I graduated. I packed up my notebooks and flip flops and tied my tired pink bike to the top of my car and drove home to the snow, and hills, and my true love, David. And here it has sat for 6 years.
Last summer David bought me a new bike to ride around our neighborhood. It is smooth and fast and dreamy as an orange soda in August. It has gears and strong tires. I ride it very fast and smile every time I do.
And even though my pink bike has sat alone, dusty, with a flat tire and scraped paint, I just couldn’t let it go. Then yesterday I learned my neighbor needed a bike. And I knew it was time to say goodbye.
Yesterday I gave my old bike away. And as my neighbor wheeled away that year of history and growth and tears I was happy for her.
But I still cried.
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Jenna Evans Welch lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, David, and her two-year-old son, Sam. Her first book LOVE AND GELATO will be released by Simon & Schuster in Spring of 2016. To follow Jenna’s blog go to: www.thegreenlemon.com