The Bike ~ Letting Go

Spring skies in Spring City

The skies over Spring City recently have been full of light, reminding me of how my dad did love the beautiful coming of Spring!

This is the first Spring in my life without my dad.

He went to the hospital in Salt Lake City last fall, to be treated for a minor bladder infection. Five days later he was gone.

It was a bittersweet time. He hated and was humiliated by some of the procedures, but he did have the time to spend with each one of us to tell us special things he wanted us to know.

On the night before he died, he and I were left alone. Everyone in the family was exhausted from the running back and forth to the hospital when he would start to go down, and then rally.

He told me he was confused when my mother had told him it was okay for him to go.

"Am I going home, or am I going to die, Sheri?” I told him I thought he was going to do both; dying is going home.

“We just hold each other's hands in this life along the way,” I added, holding his hands tightly.

Then he told me he was glad I was the one who was with him that night. He wanted to talk to me about my bike.

He said he had finally finished school and had his first REAL job. We were renting one side of a duplex in Provo.

My Dad had returned from WWII, and using the GI Bill, was the first person in his family to earn a college degree.

He loved his job as an Optometrist. He said he loved looking into people's beautiful eyes, and also the look on their faces when they put on their glasses and could see clearly.

He said one day he noticed a local car dealership had a Monark Firestone special edition Super Cruiser girl’s bike in the showroom as part of a promotion.

Dad took us there to see this chartreuse-green piece of heaven. Of course, my mother said no. This Super Cruiser was an adult bike. It outweighed me and cost a fortune.

She said I was only six and shouldn't get a bike until I was ten.

Monarch Firestone Super Cruiser girl's bike
The only arguments I can remember my parents having were about me, and this was one of them.

Anyhow, on Christmas morning, there it was -- my giant Super Cruiser bicycle!

Sheri Hansen, age 6.
My mother pouted inside while my dad took me outside with the new bike.

When I pushed one pedal down, I could just see over the handlebars. I pedaled up and down like crazy while he held the seat and back fender and ran by my side.

I was flying along, until I looked back and discovered he wasn't holding me up. I fell over.

I believe the bike weighed 57 pounds. At the time that was seven pounds more than I weighed.

He pulled the bike off of me and told me he had only let go when he knew I could do it without him.
I really couldn't. However, he believed in me so much that a week later I was the queen of not falling down on my beautiful green Super Cruiser! He watched me ride it every chance we got through the rest of the Spring.

Over the years several times I thought about coasting down Canyon Road on my bike to get to the BY High campus. However, I don't think I could have gotten back home going uphill, so I rode it only around my neighborhood.

In the hospital that night, dad talked to me about that first day. He remembered every detail. He even told me I was wearing a little red hat and coat.

He said it was one of the best days of his life.

I don't remember those details, but I will never forget my last night with my dad, the day he let go of my bike, and then the day he let go of his life.

My husband Owen and I had moved to Spring City last July. Dad wanted so badly to see our house. We planned it several times, but he never quite felt up to it. My mother was concerned that something might happen during the 4 plus hours that he would be in the car.

I took pictures of the house, and he loved the photo of the front porch. Dad said it gave him another reason to get feeling better, so he could come and sit on our porch.

The day he died, I drove home. When I crossed the Point of the Mountain, there was a huge rainbow in the eastern sky. I wanted to take a photo, however at 80 plus mph and with people driving like their hair was on fire, I could not.

I eventually crossed the railroad tracks to Thistle, turned west for a moment and then south toward home. Then I pulled over and took a picture with my phone. I wanted to remember how the sky looked the day my dad arrived there.

Rainbow in the eastern skies on that day.

By Sheri Hansen Hogle, Class of 1964

Dad shows off his little girl, Sheri

Dr. Carl E. Hansen & daughter Sheri.

The Dress, by Sheri Hansen Hogle
The Dress
I Thought I Was Invisible
I Thought I Was Invisible