I remember the excitement of getting that bicycle. It was brand new and just for me. It took some time to feel comfortable on it, but it provided fun and freedom.
Looking at that picture, I remembered other photos of bicycles.
When my Mom was 10 years old, her body fought a battle with polio. She won, but as a result, she continued to face challenges throughout her life. This isn’t just a teenager on a bicycle, she is a warrior overcoming circumstances.
My grandfather’s family faced difficult financial times. I imagine he had to work hard to own a bicycle. Here he is on it ready for a 4th of July parade.
When you put the pictures together, you see three generations under different circumstances, but doing the same thing. They are separate moments in time, but connected by blood and relationship. Here are the pictures of me, my mother and my mother’s father in sequence.
Ordering them differently shows a family history.
These pictures of us on bicycles are part of a bigger picture. The images of bicycle wheels caused the wheels in my brain to spin.
My grandfather lived 92 years. He was always fascinated by machinery. Toward the end of his life, he was grateful to sometimes use an electric scooter that allowed him to travel farther than his legs were able to take him. My mother has always grabbed the good in life. She is still overcoming the effects of polio (now recognized as “post polio”), and she allows herself to sometimes use a wheeled walker/rollator so she can continue to get out in the world and enjoy it. And I, because of multiple sclerosis, find myself permanently attached to wheels for movement, and I’m grateful for them. Wheels were fun when we were young and freedom in later years.
I’ve had good role (roll) models in my life. The bicycle pictures helped me to see the people on them in a more meaningful way, and to recognize the significance of their connection. The invention of the wheel has benefited all people, but may be even more significant in our family.
Bicycles. Wheels. Generations. Moments in time.