Thom and Phil asked for bikes as Christmas gifts, so Larry bought two of them second hand. He painted them and bought new seats and handle grips, so the guys had the bikes they wanted. They were some form of dirt bikes. I remember there were no gears and they were small-sized bikes. At the time, this kind of bike was "in" and the boys were very proud of them. Of course, when you give gifts of bikes at Christmas, kids can't use them as often as they would like because of the cold and snow.
By the first week in June, the neighborhood pool was open. The kids were out of school, and Thom's friends were biking there. He joined them, but didn't bring a bike lock since the bike rack was inside pool property. Unfortunately, the location was not a deterrent to someone who saw the bike and decided he wanted it. When Thom came up from swimming, he saw that the bike was gone. He called home very upset.
Larry happened to be home that day and went down in the car to pick Thom up. Together, they drove up and down the streets of Ten Hills and Westgate looking for the bike. After quite a while, they returned home without the bike. Thom was very discouraged, and so was I. We all sat down and decided to pray. We asked God to give all of us the grace to forgive whoever stole the bike and help us to let go of it. We were all still feeling down.
Larry felt like he and Thom should go look around again. He prayed before they left, asking God to lead them. He drove through Ten Hills again, hoping that whoever took the bike may have just discarded it. Still no bike. He continued on to Frederick Road and on the ball fields behind Mount St. Joseph. He and Thom looked around and saw a few kids playing ball, but no bike.
They were ready to leave when Larry spied something red and shiny glinting in the sun just under a bench at the far end of the field. He walked over, and there under the bench was Tom's bike. When Larry confronted the boys playing ball about the bike, they all said "so and so" took it. The boy named was there, but denied taking the bike. Larry spoke to him, but did not press charges. He and Thom were just happy to have the bike back. When they came home with the bike, I was astonished. I realized that God had lead them to the ball fields and had answered our prayer.
However, something still seemed unfinished in my mind. The next day, I sensed that I was to pray regularly for this boy and his family. I hope that they have been abundantly blessed. I also began to wonder if there are people I don't know who pray regularly for me and my family. Someday, in the next world, I may find out.