Thursday, September 3, 2015

Leif on His Suzuki - Nine Years Ago

Here's a photo I found on Leif's computer. I think it must have been taken by Donna where they lived in Tampa, on September 5, 2006. He was putting on weight, but look at that proud posture. He loved that crotch rocket. Unfortunately, in yet another of his series of bad luck incidents, it was stolen right out of the parking lot.

He rode that thing like he was on a racetrack, admittedly over 100 mph at times. It's a wonder he never had an accident at high speed and really wrecked himself or someone else. The irony was, the accident in which he really got hurt and ended up in the hospital happened a low speed in Tampa going back to work.

Lately we are hearing about all the damage that concussions cause, from IEDs to football, and I can't help but wonder whether that, too, influenced the end of Leif's life. I don't know what kind of micro concussions he may have had due to what he experienced in the army, but I do know that when he had that motorcycle accident in July 2007, his head hit the pavement without a helmet on it, and it was an ugly example of "road rash," as were his hands, as he wasn't wearing motorcycle gloves, either, at the time.

He loved riding his cycles. This was the second of three he owned. The first was a yellow and magenta Yamaha sport bike. The third was a silver chrome Honda, which was a more comfortable ride like a cruiser. I think he felt happier and more alive when he was riding than just about any other time.

A year and seven months after this photo was taken, he would be dead. So many awful things happened in that time; two robberies, his bike accident and surgery, domestic violence against him, financial calamity. It was a heavy load on top of all he had already experienced, but now I am wondering whether he could have handled it differently without the head injuries.

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