BOISE — Ninety-two-year-old Rosemary Sorce of Boise is a character, and she loves to go on bike rides.
Now she can, thanks to her family.
They surprised her with this bike - custom made just for her!
They call it the Blessing Bike, and you're about to see why.
“This is lovely. I like the freedom to be able to go outside!” Rosemary said. “It makes you feel good and you feel loved! You're not just sitting around.”
Rosemary Sorce remembers the joy of riding her bike when she was a young girl.
“Oh yeah, up until I was about 17 and then boys came into the picture!”
Now at 92 years old - riding by herself just isn't an option. But her daughter Jill found a way to bring back that feeling.
“I was on Facebook and saw a video from Copenhagen. A volunteer built a bike and was taking seniors all over the place, and I was watching the looks on those people's faces and then looked at my mom on the couch, who I would take out in a wheelchair and then said to Wade, is there any way you can make something like this?” Jill said. “And he said like he always does... I think I could make that!”
“So we ended up looking on Craigslist and found an old rusted cargo bike,” said Wade. “Took it all apart and Jill painted it, I put new wheels and tires and made all the mechanics right, and then gave it to her for her birthday.
“It's a bicycle for you!”
That surprise was captured on video.
“So that's what I've been, Jill and I have been spending all this time in the garage with,” Wade said.
Rosemary couldn't believe her eyes!
“How cute!” Rosemary exclaims.
“Wanna go for a spin?”
“Yeah!” Rosemary replies.
Mother and daughter go on rides together every day...
“Here you go... seat belt!”
“She just tells stories, and she just feels alive!” Jill said.
“Here we go! Out for a ride.”
“I'm 92 and hell I want to keep going, oops I shouldn't have said that, I want to keep going,” Rosemary said. “Look at the sky. You know you don't see all this in the car.”
What they didn't expect, is the deep impact this bike seems to have where ever they go.
“People will honk, people will physically stop us!” Jill said.
“We had a man stop us on the street, and he pulled over in a parking lot and physically stopped us on the road and just started crying and said ‘I wish I had this experience for my mom, how do you build a bike like this? What do you do?’”
“So I think this isn't just about us, it's about what we can do we can all do for our elderly family members in helping them experience this season in their life at the very end as much as possible.”
They now call this - the Blessing Bike - with good reason.
“You feel loved, wanted!” said Rosemary. “People come up and say how nice it is, and how nice it is to see someone doing this for their mother.”
“She's my hero,” Jill said.
And Jill is so grateful for this precious time with her mom.
“It's been huge, it's been wonderful!” Jill said.
“It's been nice,” Wade said.
“We can gossip, we talk about everything!” Rosemary said.
“When we are on that bike, the things that she tells me about her childhood and her experiences are stories I've never heard,” Jill said.
“It's heavenly and that must be what heaven is like, just to know that you are loved.”