They say that you don’t have to be related by blood to be family.
A group of Harley-Davidson bikers proved this to be very true as they reached out and gave a total stranger the most important wish of his life.
Jon Stanley had loved riding his Harley Davidson until he found himself bed-ridden at the age of 61.
Brain cancer and lung cancer had turned terminal and his life was quickly fading away.
Once Jon had been placed on a respirator in order to breathe, it was only a matter of days. Brother-in-law, Michael Smith, felt the need to bring one last joy into Jon’s life.
Jon’s happiest memories were those on his bike and he wished that he could hear the roar of that engine just one more time.
Smith could have simply had a Harley-Davidson motorcycle brought to Jon’s window, but he had a better plan.
He contacted a local biker named David Thompson. Thompson wasted no time in putting together a fitting send off.
Posting a message on Facebook, he asked any interested bikers to meet him to deliver a biker brother’s last dying wish.
A group of 200 bikers on 100 bikes met in the WalMart parking lot on Ireland Road in South Bend. They made their way to Jon’s address and surrounded the house.
In unison, they revved the engines in respect to the US vet and abate member. Smith was with Jon and watched as he raised his arm to the familiar sound.
Family helped Jon outside to witness the spectacle. They placed him in a side car to feel the vibration one last time.
Although weak, he truly seemed pleased and at peace. Only a few hours later, Jon passed away in his wife’s arms.
Sometimes a fond memory can remind us of happier times. Sometimes it is a sound or a scent that triggers our thoughts and emotions.
Bikers, local and from other states, made one last memory a great one for Jon Stanley.
Although Jon is gone now, that day will live on for the band that poured out so much love for another.