Every once in a while, you get a special letter from someone who is gracious enough to share a story so personal to their heart, that their words leave a mark on your memory, just like their ink has left a mark on them. I have been petitioning for stories from friends, family and any riders with ink, but when I got this email from Charlotte, I was touched. So many things happen in our lives and we wonder what the purpose is for it. Sometimes, that purpose is never made clear. All we can do is try to learn from it, move on and make life worth living. Considering how death has become such an integral part of riding after so many years in the saddle, finding ways to cope with it is all you can do to honor those who have fallen. This is why we were so pleased to receive Charlotte’s story. Congratulations on your newfound passion Charlotte! Riding a motorcycle is the proverbial ‘herbal remedy’ for sadness. There is nothing a few twists of the throttle down an open road won’t solve.
“I was in the Navy for nine years but an accident during our call of duty killed my buddy and two other colleagues. It got me emotionally and I was scarred forever. My colleague had died in place of me, as we had swapped assignments before the accident. It took me a few years to come to terms with reality until I got the tattoo of an an angel stepping out of the furnace fire, with smoke from the fire turning into seven butterflies flying off in freedom.
The angel represented my colleague as well as my guardian angel who has protected me from harm through out my life. The furnace fire represents hardship, which we have both gone through in our own way through life and death. The butterflies represent freedom, as my colleague is now free from the bonding of life. It is a reminder to me to be free with what I want to do, as life is short and unpredictable.”
This newfound freedom is why I started learning to ride a motorbike at the current age of 38. I want to fulfill my teenaged dream of riding a bike on long distance touring. I want to feel the freedom of the wind in my face and the vibration of the powerful machine in my body.”