Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pouring One For My Homies

Ok, so it has been a while since I have been here but I'm back with something pretty good to report on. Many of you may not know this but today is my Mom's Birthday. My mom passed away on January 18th of this year. I won't go into the details of her death or the circumstances around it but if you would like to know more about that you can read another post of mine here.

Yesterday my brother Chris asked me if I was going to go to her grave tomorrow (today) for her birthday. I have been thinking about her birthday this past week or so but I never intended to go to the grave. I'm not really one of those kind of people who finds comfort in visiting graves. To me, I know that she is not there just her body is. I know that my mom lives and her spirit is not confined to her body anymore. I felt like I could remember her just as well in my home. The more I thought about it the more I felt like I was a bad son for not wanting to go to the grave. A lot of my family is going and they plan on singing Happy Birthday and leaving flowers but that's just not me. While I was thinking about this I came up with a way that I can remember my Mom on her birthday in my own way.

If you know anything about my Mom you would know this. #1 She was physically confined to "The Blue Chair" for the last part of her life. The Blue Chair was a place of confidence to a lot of people. Thousands of visits took place at the Blue Chair, thousands of laughs, thousands of tears shed. The Blue Chair was a sacred place to many people and my Mom sat there for much of her ending years. #2 My Mom had a love for the out doors and a love for outdoor activities. She loved being outdoors and in the sun. She was an excellent skier, tennis player, she loved the beach, and so on. She loved Nature and loved the Outdoors. #3 My Mom had a love affair with Coca-Cola Classic. It was her poison. She had cases hiding in her room and though out the house. She would have someone fill her sippy-cup cup to the brim with ice and she would gulp away. In her life time she probably drank a million cans of coke. Ok, maybe not but she liked it. So with those three things in mind and a little help from my friend Carleton, this is what I did to remember my Mom on her birthday.

My friend Carleton and I had planed on an early morning bike ride from our houses. We have a trail next to our houses that enters the Santa Ana Mountains. Our destination...Sierra Peak. If you are in East Orange County by Yorba Linda, Sierra Peak is where you see all these towers way up in the mountains. It is very easily seen from the 91 and 241 freeways looking east (towards Corona). I left at 6:00 carrying some mementos. I pinned a picture of my Mom sitting in her Blue Chair on my chest and went off riding. Here is a picture at the bottom of Skyline Road which is the beginning of the trail at sunrise.

The ride was fun. It got a little hot so I had to shed my jacket but finally here we are at the top of this section of the mountain with a sippy-cup and Coke in hand.

Here I am giving my Mom a sip.

Taking one for myself.

And pouring one for my Mom.

It was actually a very beautiful day. I couldn't have asked for better conditions. From this vantage point you could see probably close to a 75 miles or more. We could see Catalina, Mount Baldy, Down Town LA, Rancho Palos Verdes, Way into Riverside, Lake Matthews and so on. It doesn't come out on the Camera that well but here is a faint picture of Catalina. Look hard, it's there.

91/241 to the bottom left...Yorba Linda to the bottom Right...and Down Town LA smack dab in the middle.

Lake Matthews in the lower right part and the San Gorgonio Mountains (Where Big Bear & Arrowhead is).

Mount Baldy and Chino & Ontario below.

It was a beautiful day and a great ride. I used to go and tell my Mom about my Mountain Biking adventures and I know deep down she always wished she could go. Today was her day. The ride down was fun and a little crazy. Mom loved every second of it. She was laughing the whole way down. I love you Mom and Happy Birthday!


Donelle Anderson said...


Kelly said...

Mike, this was so awesome!! I'm sure she was riding along with you with a constant smile on her face screaming things like "Ahh!" and "Wow"!!

Carleton & Robyn said...

Carleton loved the experience he had this morning and was glad to be part of such a special occasion. Thank you for all you do for our family. You are a very giving, kind, thoughtful, and funny person. I'm sure your mom is so proud of you!

Carleton & Robyn said...

Carleton here - That was a great ride with you both :) - thanks for sharing with me. Diablo was a bit crazy, eh? Super fun though, it's awesome having these mountains in our backyard!

Em said...

Such a sweet idea MIke, you brought me to tears.

Bek said...

rock the freak on! you're still a good son to your mommy.