At face value we are all "ladies" in the most basic definition of the term...meaning we all have "lady parts." Beneath the surface it is so much more than that. We are wives, daughters, mothers and sisters. We are caregivers, nurturers, and providers of endless love and affection. We are homemakers and business professionals. We are divorcees and retirees, and some of us are wandering women...just trying to find our place in this world. We have lived, we have loved, and some of us have suffered such immense pain that others just can't comprehend. We have brought forth life and we have said goodbye to those that have gone before us. We are daughters of deceased parents and siblings and some of us unfortunately, are mothers of lost children. We are as diverse as the day is long...like a giant quilt woven of a million different fabrics. Our stories are all the same and yet so different. How in the world can a group SO eclectic and SO unique find something that can unite us all?
When we throw our leg over that bike we become one entity. We are sisters in the wind...we are LADY RIDERS. We know the risks and dangers involved and we also know the empowerment and satisfaction we receive with the wind in our face and the sun on our skin. In these moments we leave our complicated lives behind and look to the road ahead. We take off all those different "hats" we wear at home as we slide into our boots, jackets and chaps. We become Ladies in Leather. On the roads we travel we become stronger than ever expected. We are free from the burdens and trials of our everyday lives, and we find our peace and freedom...one mile at a time. We pass sisters on the road and with a simple wave we know..."she gets it." We have an unspoken bond with one another that other people just don't understand. It is a feeling that can't be taught or learned, but must be experienced. This is "why."
The Ladies in Leather Parade & Rally weekend is OUR time. It is OUR time to forget about our jobs and duties as women and just enjoy something simpler. I can't explain the feeling of sitting on my bike surrounded by a sea of lady riders, waiting for that parade to start. I look around, and I can't tell you who is the lawyer or who is the stay-home mom. I can't tell you who is hurting, who is broken, or who is having the best day of their life. All I see is women united by one single passion. At that moment, we are all the same. This is "why."
Last year as the parade rumbled through the little town of Llano, families and onlookers gathered and waved as we passed. I will never forget the two little girls who stood along the roadside waving a sign that said "GIRLS CAN DO ANYTHING." I had held it together pretty good up until that point. When I saw their faces...when I saw their enthusiasm...when I saw their mother standing proudly next to them as they jumped up and down I just lost it. I rode the next few miles with tears streaming down my face. I can't explain it. I felt like we had created a memory that those little girls would take home and tuck away in their hearts forever. They were right...absolutely right. I'm sure not everyone had the same experience that I did, but that one moment hit me hard...and I knew that I was part of something beautiful. It's not about a "record," and it's not about a party. It's about each one of us, and it's about ALL of us. This is "why."