• Patrick Gabrion

'B' is for Becky, not biking

As my sort of mission statement proclaims, Pedal2Page is about cycling in all its forms. Well, as Lance Armstrong so aptly titled one of his books, "It's Not About the Bike," I too can depart from my established course and write about anything I so choose. After all, it's my blog.


As some of you already know, the last eight months or so have been pretty rough here at the Gabrion household. We lost our son, Gavin, last October and my youngest sister, Ann, died as the result of a massive stroke just last month in Michigan. And my wife, Vicky, has been in and out of the hospital over the past few weeks, but hopefully is now on the road to recovery — and, I might add, still looking forward to the first ride on her new Trek bicycle.


"Enough already" is the phrase that comes to mind for me quite often these days.

My sister, Becky.

Through all this darkness, though, there has been this constant glow of kindness and friendship at our doorstep that will never be forgotten and can never be repaid. It has been just overwhelming. Family, friends and co-workers have been keeping our refrigerator full and lending their unwavering support in countless ways.


To mention by name all the people who have helped would be impossible, but there is one individual who deserves a special shout-out. And that would be my other sister, Becky. Her efforts in easing our burden, both with our son's death and Vicky's recent illness, cannot be overstated. Pure and simple, she was just there when we really needed her.


She drove to Maine from Pennsylvania, putting her life on hold for nearly five weeks, and basically ran the entire show. She kept the house in order and took care of all the associated chores — laundry, food shopping, cooking, doing the dishes, etc. Even cleaning out the cat litter box! There were hospital visits to Portland, doctor office appointments to keep; even making sure medications were taken on time.


In describing my sister, one only needs to envision the Energizer Bunny. She is always in the "on" position and she just goes and goes. Becky has been like this her whole life, and I don't see that changing. And believe me, we haven't been the only benefactors of this endless energy. She has provided this unique blend of sensitivity, combined with drill sergeant practicality, for several other people. Again, shoving her needs aside, showing up and doing what needs to be done.


It would have been tough to get through these rough patches without Becky's help, along with the generosity of so many other people. Vicky and I are in awe over the response from all of you, and will be hard-pressed to ever be able to thank you enough.


And if my wonderful sister ever needs a helping hand, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. You have been priceless. Many thanks and love to you from your big brother.

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