Self DiscoveryThe Charlie Bravo Story

Happy Charlie Bravo Day!

The strange “coincidences” that have marked my life seem to keep coming so fast that I can’t keep up unless I were to post every day. New people are becoming acquainted with my story daily, some under very odd circumstances; two quick examples that happened this week:

Dad was giving blood on Labor Day, and the phlebotomist saw the Honda sitting out front. As usually happens when a non-rider encounters a rider, he began to tell of a friend who had recently wrecked a bike and was in rehab with too many broken bones to recount here.

On a side note, why do people always have to try to convince someone else that their way is the better way? What motorcyclist has ever collapsed sobbing and promised to quit riding when regaled with such tales of death and destruction? And on the other paw, what non-rider has ever rushed out and acquired a bike when told of the wide open vistas to be experienced? Well, dad did, but he’s notoriously excitable, so he doesn’t count. Why can’t we just realize that we’re all different and celebrate and enjoy those differences?

Anyway, the phlebotomist had a picture of his friend’s wrecked motorcycle on his phone, and just HAD to show dad, and I’m glad he did;

As it was dad’s old CB500X.

If you remember, this was the very bike that dad was riding when we found each other, and for which I was named Charlie Bravo. It was traded during the hunt for a more suitable chariot for which to transport My Majesty, but we’ve always missed the original bike that appears in the first pictures of my saga.

It’s said that fools rush in where angels dare to tread, and as dad leads the league in rushing, that very night we went to the hospital to meet the fallen rider. What was meant to be a quick introductory call turned into a marathon meeting of the minds that lasted until the nurses ran us out. More on this story in a later post.

Then dad went out of town for a few days for a training seminar; without giving away too much info on the identity of the facilitator of the class, let it be known that this not the type of person that you would think would be affected by my story. He was very successful, sharp dressed, obviously hyper-intelligent and very driven, not the type of guy that you would think would have the time or inclination to relate to the story of a ragged dog in a crate.

Well, don’t judge a book by its cover.

As it turns out, this man had risen from the ashes himself, escaping from not just one but multiple crates during his younger years to become what he is today, a true example of “from the guttermost to the uttermost”. Just as it’s hard for people to make the the connection between the scabby skeleton I once was and the sleek beauty I am today, it’s hard to relate the former orphan tossed from foster to foster home with the executive he is.

Until you felt the empathy with which he communicated, then you know he “gets it”; whether it be fear, addiction, old habits, negative experiences, etc, it doesn’t matter what material forms the confines of our own personal crates, we can be freed. It just takes humility to allow someone else to assist us, and at the same time a willingness to help someone else from their own claustrophobic condition. More on this later as well, as his is a story that needs to be told as well.

Since both of these men are newcomers to the story, I thought I would recount the original poem that came to pass when dad was taking a run at scribbling out a possible children’s book; I keep telling him he need to stick to the motorcycle and leave the writing to me…

Chark the freaking diem!

The Ballad of Charlie Bravo

Twas ragged and raw and the riders saw She had been there for quite a while
In a crate in a field with no end in sight,
No houses for many a mile.
They stopped for a bit, then left in a cloud
Of dust and exhaust so blue;
She resigned herself that this was her fate–
The crate was all she knew

She pricked up her ears as a sound approached and the riders came back into sight.
So weak she was, she could barely move,
Her famine overcoming her fright.
But here was a change, hands reaching out,
inflicting something much different than pain.
They left once again, came back with a truck,
And headed for home in the rain.

Due to her plight, she spent the first night
Sleeping with Zach and the bikes.
Hondas and Harleys, though great on the road,
Were not the bedpartners she likes.
Next day at the spa with Alex and Ma;
Transformation taking place all the while.
First the smell, then the pain, vanished down the drain
Leaving a black coat and white smile.

As her confidence grew, her message did, too
That we all live in some sort of crate
But no matter how hopeless our conditions may seem,
Hope never fails if we wait.
Now she hogs dad’s whole bed, from the foot to the head
She’s the Queen of the Casa, you know.
She rides on the back, it’s a Honda so black
Her name is Charlie Bravo!

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