Learning Curves Memories
I write this month’s newsletter as I sit on the beach watching the waves roll into the island of Molokai, Hawaii.
This is the small island where Frances and I spent one and a half years together serving full time as missionaries for the Mormon Church. There are approximately 7,400 residents on this island with no stop lights, limited paved roads, two gas stations and only one grocery store. Everyone on the island knows what you buy to eat and drink.
The people here have become like family to me. For approximately the first six months that we lived here in our basement apartment, they watched our every move. After that time they let us in. They let us in to their lives, their families and their hearts. For that, I will be eternally grateful.
During our time on Molokai, we were able to share teachings of the Savior; we were able to help build stronger families; and, served to help many overcome the devastating effects of addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Our lives were blessed by our friendship with these great people and their very special culture. For this blessing Frances and I were so very grateful.
Why do I share my feelings about this time in my life? I could go on for pages about the memories of this time in my life. I share this because I want you to know how important memories are to me at this phase of my life here on this beautiful earth.
It is my feeling that memories are the most precious gift we can give to and leave with those we love. Memories (not stuff!) are what our legacy will consist of. If we each would focus our time and efforts on creating memories with those we love and care for the real lasting joy of our gifts could be realized.
The thought I that I leave with you is a very simple but, in my mind, significant one. I pray that as you focus your time and energy in this year 2010 this thought will move to the foreground of your mind and spirit.
At Learning Curves, we would love to have you join us on a ride this year. We don’t sell stuff. We offer a unique opportunity to create memories for you and someone you love and a chance for us to expand our circle of friends in the profession we love.
To Whom Do We Owe What: When You Go Down
My hope, as we begin this new year, is that this thought will also touch your heart.
Several years ago, Frances and I took a day ride with another couple. We were riding one of our Harley’s and the couple we were riding with was on a Honda.
We packed a lunch in our saddlebags and headed into the mountain back roads outside our home in Provo, Utah. As we arrived at the highest mountain pass in this area of the journey, we stopped and retrieved our lunch. We had a great time conversing about the different attributes between the Harley and the Honda.
My friend and his wife (who now ride a Harley Road King!) asked if he could trade bikes and test drive the Harley to see if all I told him was true. Of course, I agreed since I have always tried to be a strong advocate for Rick Story and our local Harley dealership.
We made the switch and started back down the mountain pass to lower elevations. This is where the painful part of the story begins. The Honda was a much different ride than the Harley. It had a higher center of gravity which created an entirely different feel. As Frances and I began to negotiate the many turns on the high mountain road, I took a corner too wide and found myself out on the road’s gravel shoulder. I quickly discovered I would not be able to successfully make the turn and realized I must lay down the bike or go over a cliff. I chose what I believed would cause the least pain and suffering and laid the beautiful Honda down.
Needless to say, it was not pretty for the Honda or for my leg that took the brunt of the fall between the bike and the gravel. Frances managed to escape with only a few minor bruises. I had to wrap my leg in a couple T-shirts to hold in place all the skin that had been torn off my knee and lower leg. I switched back to the Harley and somehow managed to drive the two hours to the emergency room in Provo. I have never been on a Honda since!
I spent three hours in the operating room while the surgeon removed gravel from my leg and put the skin back in place. Following the surgery, I had to spend the next three months in a brace – allowing healing without movement. The brace kept me off the Harley but as soon the healing was complete I was back on and riding again.
Taking this fall has made me a better rider. I have become more cautious, more aware of my surroundings, more aware of other vehicles and more able to anticipate what move they might make next. As a leader of Learning Curves rides I am completely committed to teaching and encouraging the same safety awareness in each of our riders. I owe this to each of you! I am grateful to be able to ride with each of you and share your safety and friendship.
Now for the rest of the story. This past year, as I have shared in previous newsletters, I have fallen further and harder than I ever dreamed possible. No doctor, no operating room, no pain medication can change the void and impact of this fall. Your messages and words of support have meant so much to me and my family (the Learning Curves team).
Now I owe it to you to pick myself up and be an example, teacher and caring friend to each of you. I owe honor to Frances and our children in all I do. I promise to share with you in any way possible when, and if, you fall. I will be there if needed. I will have that attitude of servitude.
It is my prayer that I can encourage and serve each of you in your relationships with those you love so that should you be faced with this kind of fall and someone should ask you if you have any regrets, you can answer with all your heart, might, mind and soul, “No!”
Keep the rubber side down and the smile big enough to catch many, many bugs in your teeth.