i lost my sweet biker mama bear just seven months ago. these kids were her whole world. they were the reason that she got out of bed each morning – the reason she fought SO hard to live. she loved them with her whole heart and she was NOT ready to leave them. even for a perfect heavenly home. a couple weeks ago i went to visit my mama and daddy’s grave. they lie side by side again. my dad passed away in 2008 and my mom in november, on my birthday, last year. yikes – last year. ouch. that seems so crazy to say. it feels like yesterday. emotions and grief and mourning are all still right here in my face – everyday. i never thought about it before – but when your parents are laid to rest there is a very small patch in between their graves. just a mere 12 inches. i laid on that patch, face up, staring at the sky, one hand resting on my dad’s grave and one hand resting on my mama bear’s still dirt rock pile. it hit me like a ton of bricks in that moment – this was the new “us.” we’d spent so many years, just the three of us, and this was the new normal. this is the new way, the only way, that we spend time together just the three of us. them down there and me alone, resting my hand on their graves. it hurts. i miss them so much. it’s so strange to be a mere 29 and an orphan. my kids are babies – and keeping my parents alive is a big job. they were so present in my everyday life – even as an adult – and now they are just gone. and my heart aches for them. and for my kids. mostly for my kids. i HATE that they won’t know how amazing they were. i HATE that my mama and daddy-o will miss their milestones, graduations, weddings – ugh. even just typing it brings that horrible cry lump to my throat and i’m trying to shove away the hot tears streaming down my face as i type this. it was also in that moment, lying on that strip of grass that this shoot came to life. i knew i wanted to honor my mom and dad in a way that was just beyond words. and i really feel like i’ve done it with this shoot. these bikes once belonged to my parents. my dad bought the orange bike (a 1200 sportster) and packed my mom all over the state of montana. until she realized she belonged on her own bike and was sick and tired of riding behind. so – my dad bought the silver bike (a wide glide) and my mom starting riding the orange one. they logged over 18,000 miles in two years. then, when my dad passed away, my mom gave the orange one to my husband and he’s been riding it since 2008. my mom rode my dad’s bike. and now that she’s gone – i ride it. and i love it. that feeling of getting your hair into the wind on a hot day – it’s incredible. the sound that only a Harley can produce, that warm sun shining on your face, the sound of the wind whipping around you… i’ve never felt closer to my ‘rents. and so – in tribute to my daddy-o and mama bear – i give you – my biker babies.
Photo credits: McKenzie Sacry