2008-02-01 / Letters

An Abundance Of Gratitude

Dear Editor,

As I look back upon the year 2007 I do so with an abundance of gratitude. The cross-country motorcycle trip that I took last summer was nothing short of incredible.

But, it would not have been possible, without the help of God and my family and friends. The man upstairs definitely kept his eye on me the whole time. I know this to be true because I took a spill in Dickinson, North Dakota. While riding down the road minding my own business I had the misfortune of riding over an ill placed patch of gravel. Normally that would not be a problem, but I was making a right hand turn! It was like riding on thousands of marbles. My bike shot out from under me to the left and I was violently thrown to the ground. My head snapped into the pavement giving me a bit of whiplash and my right arm received a ration of road rash.

As I lay on the ground so many questions began to flood my consciousness. How badly was I hurt? Was this the end of my trip? What was the damage to my beloved bike? Was I some kind of klutz? I had to find the answers to these questions, after all I was just 2,000 miles or so into this adventure! So I stood up. I dusted myself off. I did a big stretch and realized that nothing was broken. Good. Looking over at my bike lying on the deck I knew what I had to do. I walked over to the massive machine and kicked all of the meddlesome marbles of gravel away from her.

Turning my back to her I squatted down and took hold of her grab rail and her sturdy frame and walked backwards into her. Inch by inch the 800-pound Harley rose like a Phoenix from the ashes until she was upright. Turning to face her I deployed the kickstand and took a deep breath. From what I could see she had sustained only superficial damage. Thank God! Reaching into my saddlebag I retrieved my first aid kit. After giving myself first aid I started the bike and rode to the hospital where I was treated and released. This whole affair might have turned out much differently but for my guardian angel who never left my side. Once again, Thank you God!

But, like the trip my gratitude doesn't end there. There are so many people, businesses and organizations that made my trip a success. I am somewhat reticent about naming them for fear of leaving someone out. But here it goes anyway. Thank You to The Wave for printing my travel logs, to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Teresa Gaudio for believing in me, to my co-workers for your donations and encouragement, to the DSNY Emerald Society for your generosity, to Deputy Commisioner Vito Turso for the press releases, to Joe McGoorty for organizing my send- off party, to Jameson's Pub for hosting my party, to the 100 Precinct for the escort, to the Carey family for shipping our camping gear to Oregon, to Chris Gallagher for everything, to my family for your prayers and donations, to all of my friends and neighbors for your generous donations and for reading my travel logs (I hope that you enjoyed them), to all of the people in Rockaway Beach, Oregon - you made me feel like I was home. I have saved the best for last.

A heartfelt Thank You goes out to my riding buddy, Mike Gallagher. This guy is tough as nails, he laughs in the face of adversity, he's always on time and he put up with all of my crap without grumbling. Thumbs-Up Dude!

In closing I'd like to leave you with a few statistics. Our trip covered 8,941 miles, 18 states, 4 mountain ranges, 4 time zones, 2 deserts, 2 oceans, countless rivers, 2 buffalo herds, 1 angry moose, 5 bald eagles and countless deer. The most important statistic is the one that reflects your donations. Your contributions to "Shevys' Ride for Breath" totaled $16,000. Because of your generous donations science is closer to a cure. So thanks again for everything. May God Bless you all.

Happy Trails,

ED (SHEVY) SHEVLIN

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