Hold On to Me and Let Me Go

 The summer I learned to ride a bike,
 my family was on vacation in Vermont. 
 When the other kids 
 flew away on their bikes, 
 I sat and sulked – 
 my training wheels had been forgotten in New Jersey.
 So, when my big sister told me
 she’d teach me to ride on two wheels, 
 I followed her.
 She led me to my cousin’s bike – 
 bright red with a bell and frilly ribbons on the handlebars
 it was already better than mine – 
 but no training wheels.
 All the bells and whistles in the world 
 had not yet relieved me of my fear – 
 so what made this different?
 My parents had already tried to persuade me with treats
 but I had always refused – 
 so what made this different?
 There is only one explanation that comes to mind,
 only one reason for my willingness and enthusiasm
 as I followed my sister – 
 My big sister was the only person on the face of the earth
 I trusted.
 With my whole life.
 So, I followed her
 and I listened
 and I trusted.
 Through the fear of falling
 and the pain that would ensue,
 I willingly got on that bike.
 Because I knew with everything inside of me
 she would not let go and let me fall.
 if there had been no picture
 pasted in my family’s photo album
 to prove that she did let go and let me fly on my own,
 I would not believe it!
 Because from where I sat,
 even speeding along too fast for her to run behind me,
 I could feel her guiding and steadying that bike.
 Dear God, I ask you please,
 hold on to me and let me go
 just like my big sister always has.  

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