One Aqua Bike, Two Angels

Holy Saturday: a celebration of the sacrament of honest, raw doubt that precedes the resurrection and reigniting of faith. --Source Unknown

1. The women's bike was propped up against a large mirror in the frame shop, next to oil paintings of koi and empty frames.

I'd been the first to respond to the photo she posted in a local Facebook trading group. "You can't imagine how many people replied after you, and sent me private messages," she said, squeezing the bike's tires. Aqua, mint condition, a woman's cruiser. "They offered to give me so much money."

But I was the first in line, and fair is fair, and that's what she told everyone who inquired. "It just needs a basket and a new grip."  

She had taken it to the shop with the intent to ride in the parking lot, she said, but her knees weren't what they used to be. Recumbent bike only for her these days.

"Thank you for holding it for me," I said, promising to give the bike a basket and a good home and to ride It through downtown. 

She hugged me and said "Happy Easter."

2. I was shakey becuase I hadn't eaten all day (bad idea) and was wobbly from having the painful knots in my shoulder worked out that morning and a million other things. But I was determined to get this bike. It seemed like a good luck sign.

I'd never actually mounted a bike on my car's bike rack. My husband always did it, and he walked me through the steps before I left the house.

"I can do this," I thought, attempting to lift the heavy frame, wrestling with it and he plastic contraption of the rack. God, this was harder than it looked, and I felt faint. Why couldn't I figure out how to put a bike on a bike rack? My finger, jammed in the process, gashed, blood swelling up around the growing bruise. 

Feeling faint, I had to sit down. Facetiming my husband. "Move it to the right," he said. "Other right."  

And then, a man wearing denim overalls, descending from a pickup truck.

3. His name was Joey and he sold paint at the Lowe's and was pnce a professional now hunter and then a long haul trucker. He'd never seen a bike like that but he saw me struggling. And with one easy lift, he placed the cruiser on the rack, clicking the plastic ties into place without effort.

 "You are an angel, Joey," I said.

 "Tell that to my two ex-wives," he replied.

 "I've done a lot of things," he continued. "Not all of them good. When I was 20 I spent eight weeks drinking tequila in Mexico. Yeah, that wasn't pretty." 

Joey continued. "But all those things that happened before, they made me who I am today," he said.  

"Amen," I replied.  

4. At home, I grasped the handlebars, missing a grip, and flew down the street. On this day of waiting, a glimpse into kindness, a reminder of what happens tomorrow. Grace in the most unexpected moments.