― Martin Luther King Jr.
I have tossed and turned about this……...
And have a serious concern.
……………………….It happened so fast……...my mind quickly filled with questions expressing intense dismay.
Was she too distracted by the light of her presumably grandchild's eyes in the back seat to see the lights in front of her turn red?
Was she too weathered from her 80 + years of life to see all the beautiful bright colors I had worn that day?
Should I have looked closer to the other side of the street instead of looking forward?
A u-turn at a red light?
How could I have known?!
Does she not know that I was once a child with a smile, so bright?
“This is not fair!…………...How could this happen?....to me.”
Helmet cracked, the blood dripping down my face…..
In anger and rage I reacted as YOU probably would have.
I threw the helmet into the ground so hard it broke into two pieces.
I saw red. I felt dizzy. Is my bike ok? Where is this blood coming from?
She got out of the car with fear in her eyes
It was a fear most of us will NEVER know.
My jaw dropped, shocked by who was before me.
A feeble, vulnerable, older woman.
She dropped to her knees in front of me.
With a shriek and tears in her eyes she began crying out in a way that will haunt me for the rest of my days.
“NO DEPORTE! MI FAMILIA NOOO PLEASE NOOO”
And what was in her shaking hands?
An expired green card.
There were witnesses who were heading our direction with phones at the ready….calling for her families destruction unknowingly.
I did what I had to.
What was needed.
Because NO person should be begging for their life and family...to me!
This is not fair.
This is not right.
Spilling blood all over her yellow lacy dress, I grabbed her hand and pulled her off the ground.
Quickly helped her to car, turned her ignition key, gave her a kiss on her hand.
And as she drove away.
I cried harder than I ever had before.
The pain and blood (.... and evidently mild concussion) was not the reason for my tears.
I am a bicycle safety advocate, head community organizer for “ghost bikes chicago” (a comunity driven organization which installs, and maintains those white bicycles at the intersection where cyclist have been involved in a crash resulting in the loss of their lives), an “active transportation alliance ambassador”, a regular volunteer for “chicago family biking” and dare I say the obvious??
A die hard believer in cyclist justice to the fullest extent of the law.
This is one of my biggest passions.
But alas, here I am being silenced for something I have worked tirelessly to prevent, through education, advocacy and 100’s of hours volunteering.
My silence became my only weapon against a much bigger war of invisible borders carried out and perpetuated, by our careless world leaders.
So with no police report comes….no legal recourse.
No financial assistance.
No insurance to cover these medical bills or even some missed work.
So I humbly ask for your help.
Donate if you wish to.
But please I beg you watch out for each other.
And as always.
++I will be updating with images of bills (once edited for privacy) AS THEY COME THROUGH because transparency is clutch!++
Any additional funds raised will be donated equally between the following organizations:
1. Chicago Family Biking
2. Active Transportaion Alliance
3. Illinois coalition for immigrant and refuge rights.
- John Barnicle
- Scott E. Long
- Mario Benavidez
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