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There are no chapter titles

I think it really hit me when I saw the dirt bike. I hadn’t seen that dirt bike in years, but I remembered the story behind it. It had been bought cheap, fixed up in a garage, and when finally complete, was brought to a party at a friends’ house in the country. The owner rode it first, then handed the helmet to my wife. She proceeded to take it on a loop of the property, then lost control and ended up riding the thing directly into the corner of a limestone barn. Becky recovered within a couple of weeks from her spill, but when I saw the dirt bike sitting out waiting to be loaded into a moving trunk on Monday afternoon, I realized it had set for the last seven years with a bent rim waiting to be repaired.

On one hand you could say “come on, a bent rim, that’s an easy fix, why has it taken so long to fix it?”, and you’d be right. But having been friends with the owners of that bike for the past ten years, I know the stories of how life has intervened. Her chronic illness. His serious infection that cost him the vision in one eye. (No small thing for a pilot!) The business start-up. Later, the provision of a flying job. (Can you believe they let a one-eyed pilot fly 747s? I can.) The births of two delightful children. The struggles and joys of families, friends, church. I can very well understand why that dirt bike still has a bent rim. (On a side note: I wonder what projects I have sitting in the garage that still need completed…)

Monday afternoon I helped load the contents of these friends’ house into a long moving van. Assuming all went well yesterday, they drove the eight hours and arrived in Indiana where they are moving to be closer to family. With his gone-17-days-at-a-time work schedule, it makes sense for them, but we still hate to see them go.

Life has chapters, but there are no chapter titles. We can only turn the pages and see where this next chapter takes us. I look forward to an upcoming chapter that sees us visiting those friends in Indiana, and I have only one request for them: once you get the bike fixed, let somebody other than my wife ride it first.

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