Jen’s Love Bomb
Yesterday, i went to a parade ~ not your typical parade. We were celebrating the dedication of a special bike rack, in memory of Jen Futrell.
Bardstown Road was closed to cars for the afternoon for CycLouvia. We strolled, or rode bikes or skateboards, from Mid City Mall to Highland Avenue, the site of the accident that killed Jen.
Her mother tells the story.
Four years ago, on September 30, a beautiful autumn afternoon, Jen left work and was riding her bicycle down Bardstown Road.
The driver of the car wasn’t drinking, wasn’t speeding. He was passing a TARC bus on the right hand side, and just didn’t see Jenn on her bike. He just wasn’t paying attention.
Jen was in a coma for four days, and died. She was 29 years old.
I teared up while her Mom was talking ~ of course, how could I not? I didn’t know Jen myself, but my daughter did, and I know so many other people who did, and part of my sadness is that I never got to know her.
Her friends put up a ghost bike.
But a couple of years ago, Tom Owens, alderperson and historian, asked if the family would trade the ghost bike for a memorial bike rack. Yesterday, we came together to dedicate that bike rack.
It was a nice crowd.
The bike rack/sculpture is a love bomb. Jen had a habit of painting the love bomb in places that she thought needed healing. Abandoned houses, other desolate urban areas that seemed to need ~ well, to need love.
The artist hadn’t finished it ~ it still needed to be painted. In honor of Jen’s love of community, we were invited to help paint it.
And the finished product:
It was a simple dedication ceremony. Jen’s mother and sister spoke, and some friends. It sprinkled some rain, not enough to get wet, just a few drops, as if the skies had teared up too.
Unfortunately, there are still some issues with the city around getting the Love Bomb bike rack permanantly installed. Hopefully they will be able to ease through that, and folks driving down Bardstown Road, or looking for a place to park their bike, will enjoy this reminder of Jen’s life.