Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.

Birthday Memories


On 10/11/12 I turned 42. I didn’t realize the symmetry of the date until someone pointed it out to me. I took it as a good omen, like everything is lining up.

A year ago I felt the complete opposite. My birthday was the first in a series of emotional milestones following my husband’s death.

Kaz is both the reason I am sad, and the inspiration for my happiness. He had mastered the rare art of Zen. Not the bullshit, new-agey Zen emoted by some yoga instructors and “energy healers” but the real inner peace and hardcore happiness shared by life long motorcycle riders like him.

Since his passing, I have made it my mission to try and be more like him. But last year’s birthday it was nearly impossible. All I could do was compare it to the three previous birthdays I had shared with him. He always made a point of making them special.

In Year 1 of our relationship he got us VIP tickets to Atmosphere, a hip hop group he had introduced me to and I had grown to love. A week before my birthday he heard they were coming to Los Angeles and the concert was already sold out. He had to pull a lot of strings to get us tickets, was panicked about it not working out, and when the manager responded the day before the concert he said it made his week.

This concert is where I said “I love you” for the first time. “What?” he responded, pointing at his earplugs. I yelled back at him: “I LOVE YOU!” He smiled, said something that I couldn’t hear and didn’t ask him to repeat. I turned around and kept dancing, then felt his hands on my hips.

In Year 2, he rented a Honda Goldwing and takes me on a 300-mile ride up Route 1 and into the farm country near Santa Barbara. Totally magical – and not only on the ride. When he went to return the Goldwing the next day, a man struck up a conversation with him about motorcycles at the gas station in Santa Monica. Kaz later strolled into the apartment saying, “Guess who I ran into at the gas station.” “Who?” I asked. “Christian Bale!” “What?!” I screamed. He laughed. “I know!!”

In Year 3, he asked his doctors to hold off on his second resection surgery by a few days so we could celebrate my 40th birthday together, first at a party with all of our closest friends, then two days in Joshua Tree National Park, our favorite getaway spot.

Last year, the first year without him, I spent a rainy evening at Occupy Oakland with a friend and her 4-year old daughter and had drinks with other friends. It was fun, but everything felt empty. My present to myself was shaving my legs.

This year, I went to an Eddie Izzard concert, rented a Harley Davidson and went for a 60-mile ride to Palos Verdes – my first ride since learning how to ride 2 months ago. The ride was awesome, if not a little scary.

I did have a good cry when I got home because I wished I could share this momentous day with Kaz. But at least I had fun. And if his spirit is still hanging around, then maybe he had some fun with me. The only reason I’m out there is because of him. If I can capture an ounce of his Zen, I’ll be good.

Author: nivaladiva

Freelance writer and independent filmmaker.

2 thoughts on “Birthday Memories

  1. I have to say I simply stumbled across your blog–though I cannot say what “string” led me to it. LOL! Its the wonder of blogs isn’t it? But I’m commenting because I see we have something in common. I am a widow and I ride motorcycles. I think we both live in California too if I’m not mistaken from a blog you wrote about riding to Santa Barbara?

    I have been riding motorcycles for most of my life. I’ve managed to survive two major accidents where I broadsided a ding dong ole lady who wasn’t paying attention. My husband was heavily involved in a national motorcycle club when he was alive, so motorcycles were an intergral part of our lives.

    After he died, I did not know if I’d be able to ever ride again. Ride alone seemed monumental. It was lonely and even a little scary. I should add here that while I ride like the devil is after me (as I’ve been told a million times) I am too scared to get on the back of a bike. It makes no sense I admit. A control thing maybe? Anyway, I have 3 Harleys (sold one after Mike’s death) that don’t like to be ignored so I still ride. It can be exhilarating. It can be sad given the memories you have with your husband at the helm. But I encourage you to keep at it.

    There’s a different world out there in the motorcycle community. People from all walks of life that have one thing in common…”I just want to feel the air through my hair and not be hassled by the man…”

    You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrist office after all.

    • Hi Rose, Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I’m sorry to hear about your husband. We do indeed have much in common if we’re both widows and riders, though I am a newbie. I’m really glad to hear you still ride. It is a different world, one which I’m just learning about but have always admired. Can’t wait to get out there again!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s