Had another of those "meaningful" missions today. Of course, they are all meaningful, but some more poignant and personally meaningful than others. Today's ride was for a fellow PGR rider, Alan Mockus. He was a US Navy Vietnam veteran who, along with his wife, was very active in veteran support programs. He did not meet his demise in a combat zone, rather he made his sacrifice while honoring other veterans. There was a tribute to our soldiers, past and present, at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in April. Alan and his wife both went to participate, and were a part of the motorcade which rode around the Speedway to the applause and cheering of a very large crowd. On exiting, something terrible happened and there was an accident which killed Alan instantly. His wife spent more than two months in the hospital and on her discharge, requested the PGR stand a flag line a memorial service for Alan. The turn-out was amazing, including the newly installed Commander of the Georgia PGR.
At the end of the service, I decided I needed some time for reflection, so rather than ride directly home, I took a long detour through the foothills of the north Georgia mountains. It was a beautiful day, albeit a bit warm but about halfway through the home ride I hit a couple of showers which cooled things off quite nicely. The showers were perfectly timed as they started when I had stopped for a break, allowing me to don my rain gear, and they stopped at my next break, allowing me to remove it. The sun broke out again and there was an incredibly bright rainbow painted against the clouds in the distance. The road, the trees, the grass...all were glistening with raindrops and the air had a freshness that made it a joy to breath.
As I get older, I find myself reflecting more often on my mortality. When I was younger, I would involve myself in causes and protests all the while thinking I was working for the betterment of man. And perhaps I was. Of late, however, I find myself more concerned with living in the moment and enjoying what life has to offer. I've realized that if we all did that, there'd be no causes and nothing to protest. Even as I spend time riding with the PGR to celebrate the lives of others I know that my own life gets better and better as I get older and I guess that is as it should be.