“I started riding mini-bikes when I was a child and I had to sneak around and ride the neighborhood boys’ bikes that my mom didn’t want me to ride. I have ridden on the back of a million bikes, but I always wanted my own. I grew up in a neighborhood filled with boys and I was a tomboy and played football and basketball with them. I had seven uncles and five of them were mechanics. I do my own work on my bike and truck. It is nice to know a little bit so I am not completely snookered. I own my own wallpapering business and I am a woman in a man’s construction world, I have to be tough. The loss of my daughter is the toughest thing I have been through. She was 26, my only child, and just starting her life. It was a horrible accident. She stopped by a party on the way home. Someone spiked her punch and she had an allergic reaction and instead of calling for help, they left her. My baby died afraid and alone by herself.
“How do you get through that?”
“You don’t, honey. I closed off the world. I shut the windows and doors and hit the couch for six months until I woke up and realized I had to get up and go on. That was in 2001. This Angel ride is special for me because it is for children. Amy, my daughter, is my angel and she rides with me. I wouldn’t wish losing a child on my worst enemy. It changed how I look at things. All of those years working and thinking that my business is my legacy to pass to my child and then she is gone. All of the years I worked late and missed the Saturdays I should have been with her. I was at Waffle House the other day and watched a mama with two small children. They were starved for attention and she looked up twice. Once to tell them her to ‘Stop’ and the other to tell them to ‘Shut Up.’ That mama had no idea of the moments and memories she was missing. At another table, the whole family had phones in their hands and there was no interaction. I wanted to take their phones away from them. Cherish those moments and memories. Two weeks before my child passed, she called and said we need to go to lunch. We never got that lunch because we were both busy. You always think you have another day. Sometimes you don’t. She was 26 and sometimes went a week without calling me. I would go out to the stars and say, ‘Amy Lynn, you better call your mama’ and the next day I would get the phone call. They often started with ‘You aren’t going to like this, but…’ Darlin’ I would give anything in the world to hear ‘Mama, you aren’t going to like this, but…’ one more time.”