Tuesday, January 01, 2008


There are few things that make one feel more alive than a brisk morning ride on a Harley-Davidson. When that ride is on the first day of the New Year with about 50 like-minded souls, it feels as though all is right in the world… or at least our one little piece of it. Such was the case this morning as those of us from Sacramento rode up to Auburn to meet up with our Grass Valley, Nevada City and Auburn compatriots. By the time we left Auburn, the weather was perfect; about 45 degrees, no wind and the skies were clear with only patches of billowing white clouds dotting the horizon.

But all was not well in the world. Indeed, all was not well even in our little piece of it. Although all of the riders today do not necessarily “know” each other, we all are from the same community of folk. We all know of each other and we all are at least connected by mutual friends. It is a close-knit bunch. It was not until the ride was over and we all had gone our separate ways that we discovered a tragedy had darkened our day and put a damper on the jubilation on this, the very first day of 2008.

The daughter of one of our own was found in a swimming pool today. Not yet three years old, she could not be resuscitated. January 1st, 2008 would be the end of this toddler’s short life. Although I do not know the baby or her mother well, I know many who do including other members of her family. Word has it the family is in seclusion trying to grapple with this tragedy, and that is certainly their right and prerogative. Who could blame them? However, many of our extended family met up at our favorite coffee shop tonight to hold a vigil and remember the little girl and show solidarity not only for her family, but for all of us.

We tried to make some sense of it all. Why did this have to happen? Of course, no one knows. A little girl has passed; a family is grieving like only those who have experienced the loss of a child can know and an extended community of friends is there to help. It’s all we can do, for them and for ourselves. Has she gone to a “better place?” Define better. Quoting Neil Young, “There’s one more kid that will never go to school, never get to fall in love, never get to be cool.” And let us not forget about those who would have been along for that ride. Her mother; her family; and an extended community of friends who have been touched deeply - even if we did not know her well.


November Rain said...

awww his is sad

a terrible tragedy

Michelle sent me today

Bobkat said...

What an awful tragedy. It is difficult not to be touched by something like this.

I am so sorry for that poor little girls family. It is good to know however, that the family have a good network of support if they need it.

I came by to wish you all the best for the new year. I still do and now I wish your community of bikers peace and healing too.

kenju said...

It is tragic for everyone. I hope that her family will be able to achieve serenity and forgive themselves.

awareness said...

hi Mike.....i'm so sorry to read this. This family will never ever be the same......never.

I can't imagine anything worse. Today is the anniversary of the death of a good family friend's daughter. Though it's been 26 years since the accident, I know her mom (my mom's good friend) still grieves just as deeply.

take care Mike.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Loss on a holiday, especially of the young n innocent is always difficult to grasp.

Tough to even wish a Happy Year after such a happening... What a beginning for you all!

Celebrating all the moments we have with our loved ones as a cherished gift and never taking even the little things for granted becomes an essential lesson learned yet again the hardest way.

Now getting on with life and through another year forever is changed!

The best to you and your group, bless you all-