Bea was in love. Absolutely – head over heels in love with that bike. Every day she skipped down to the village in order to see it. There it stood in the window, majestic and royal, begging for attention from every passerby. The sunshine bounced off the metallic purple frame causing the entire window to sparkle and shine. Bea would stand and stare at that bike for a long time before she could drag herself away.
One more day. Her birthday was tomorrow. Her parents knew how much she wanted that bike. She had been talking about it for months. Yet, there it was still in the window. She would just die if she didn’t get that bike.
It was agonizing for Bea. She couldn’t even skip home, so heavy was her heart with worry. She stopped at the ponds to have a little rest. As she watched the swans swim with their babies her worry began to lessen. Life was good now. She was feeling so much better these days. Resting used to be the way Bea spent her days but now she could skip quite a long way before she had to rest again.
Bea leaned back against the tree and let the sunshine warm her face. As the birds twittered above her head, she ran her fingers in the sand. Before she knew it she had fallen asleep.
Bea laughed aloud as the wind blew into her face! Riding this bike was just as she imagined. Freedom! Bea desperately wished for freedom – freedom from poor health, from the need to rest, from the worried look on her Mom’s face. Her brand new purple bike gave her this. She rode around the village waving at all her neighbours. They smiled and waved back, equally delighted to see Bea able to ride a bike again. It was liberating to be moving so quickly and seeing others standing still. This was a first. Bea rang her bell to express the joy she was feeling. Bea looked over her shoulder when she heard a second bell ring in response.
Bea gasped in surprise. Behind her there were bikes as far as she could see! It was all of her friends! They were waving and ringing their bells in excitement. Bea allowed them to catch up with her. She could see her cousins, her parents, her Aunt and Uncle and even some of her teachers all smiling and waving at her! From each bike, a helium balloon flew above, bouncing in the wind. Each balloon sported a photo of Bea!
‘Wow! My own parade!’ Bea giggled.
Bea woke with a start. For a minute she wasn’t sure where she was. Realising she had fallen asleep, Bea decided to head for home before her Mom started to worry…again. On her walk home, Bea recalled every beautiful moment of her dream. The bike, how it felt to move so quickly and mostly how she felt when she saw all the bikes behind her. Bike or no bike those people have always been behind her. Bea knew she was loved by so many people.
Bea hummed away as she headed for home. She felt great. She could walk again and she was loved. Bea decided it didn’t matter what she got for her birthday. She had so much already.
When Bea reached her house, her parents met her in the driveway. Bea started to apologize thinking they were upset because they had been worried about her, but they interrupted.
‘Get in the car Little Missy!’
‘Let’s go get that bike you want!’
Bea ran to them for a group hug! It DID matter! She really wanted that bike and she was going to get it!
[In memory of H.B. Stewart, the story I promised.]
June 19,1992 – May 21, 2007