Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Dilemma Of The Motorbike

Years ago there was a boy who was killed on a bike, he was decapitated. He was a friend of my niece or her friends's brother's friend, I don't quite remember, but that is not important. He was much older than Clint. His younger brother went to Clinton's school and I remember my niece saying how the younger brother was wild and crazy and rode a bike. I always wondered how his parents could allow him to ride a motorbike after his brother died on a bike. Not only did I wonder silently to myself, but out aloud to. I was not the only one who wondered that. That has come to haunt me now years later. Days after Clint died and everyone was still coming to our house - you know when you need to be left alone and you want to be left alone to scream and cry and thrash things, people intrude on your privacy to grieve, then they all disappear and get on with their lives. This particular night when we were talking about Clint's love of motorbikes to his friends, I said what do we do when Chad turns 16 and wants a bike - Mark's words to me were "Are you mad, Chad will never get a bike" Those words have come back to haunt me, not Mark. Long before Chad turned 16, Mark bought himself and Chad a motorbike, so that they could go on Enduro rides through the bush, that was the excuse. Those trips have never materialized. Never judge unless you have walked in their shoes!!!!!!!!


Now Chad has this bike and has been riding it to gym and rides up and down to work, which is one kilometer away. He does not have a license, so that is an issue for me as well, not to say that having a license stops you from dying on a bike. Clint was the only one who had a license out of his friends and he did his licence with a 53 year old man who had been riding for 35 years without a license and only decided to do his license because the cops were getting strict. Mark only got his bike license a year or maybe two before Clint got his. The other week, Chad was in one of his teenager "I am so cool" moods and never let me know that he had arrived at gym - the rule. It was a rule for Clint and it is a rule for Chad. A rule, because we care. Chad has his moments when he believes I baby him and gets into a mood about it. When I realized that he had not called, I called him, no answer, I gave it a couple of minutes, called again and again. Sent text messages, no reply. I called Mark, he tried, no reply, because I was closer and Mark was busy, I had to drive and look for Chad. I was hardly in a state to drive, I could have caused an accident  a collision. I expected to see him lying on the side of the road. The gym is only 4.5kms away - it felt like an eternity. Mark phoned whilst I was driving and although I always only talk on my phone with a hands free kit and only if it is Mark; Chad or Sheila, will I answer. I was in too much of a state to drive and talk and I just screamed at Mark about him buying the bike and it is my stress and I am going to have an accident and I cut the call. Long story short, Chad was fine, his phone was in his bag and he "thought" he only had to phone when he was leaving gym. He knows the rule, he just rebelled against it and now he has been banned from riding the bike, because we love and care too much to let him ride.

My heart is broken and crumbles and breaks more and more everyday. The guilt and torment of statements like "we love you too much" so that means I did not love Clint enough. The guilt and the dilemma everyday is just too much. Needless to say the bikes went with when we went away this weekend, which is partly and maybe mostly why the weekend was terrible. The reason also why I can't just finish the posts about the weekend. Last night, Chad sat me down so to speak and his question was "If Clint died in a car would that mean you would never allow me in a car?" My answer was "Clint never died in a car". His reply "but what if he did" and I replied "He never did - there is no getting around it he died on a bike" Chad should become a lawyer, he can argue a point over and over without it seeming to be the same point. Clint could also argue and argue. I remember like it was yesterday, he was standing in the kitchen, trying to convince me to allow him to get another bike and he said when it is your time it is your time. At no point did he actually believe that he would die 8 months later. I also remember a month before he died he told me he is not going to ride bikes when he turns 18 and gets his car license. I remember as if it was a minute ago being in the ambulance and Clint saying "no more bike mommy" over and over. It breaks my heart and that is what I remember. I also told Chad and Mark, they must never ever believe that something bad won't happen to a family twice. I also had to tell Chad that he must not ever believe that only the good die young and if he is reckless and bad that he won't die. His reply to me was "but you have also said that........" Yes I did and that is a whole post for another time.

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The motorbike saga is not going to end anytime soon. The huge question is - what do parents do if their child dies in a motor car. I have read other blogs about children dying in motor cars, but not one that I have read addresses or mentions how they cope with their other children driving cars. There is such a stigma to motorbikes and I have written about this all over my blog, it is constantly on my mind. It is not the bike it is the other drivers and Chad is right far more people die in cars in South Africa everyday, but there are far more cars on the road than bikes, so in the end it is all relative. The question still remains, what would we have done of it was a car - I can never answer that, because it wasn't a car - it was a bike.

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