WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) — Jon Wish rolled the bike he rode coast to coast toward the Pacific Ocean in Oregon to complete his 4,000-mile, 72-day journey, but his focus remained on who was with him during the ride.
“When I got to the coast, I was walking to the beach,” he said. “And I knew she was with me. It’s comforting, so I talked to her.”
Wish left Westerly in June to raise money for Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island, a thank you for how the organization helped his mother Francesca and his family.
“Empathetic, caring, compassionate, all the things that we strive to be,” Wish said, describing his mom. “She embodied all of that. She’s everything to me.”
Her smiling face, captured in a picture, stared up at him from his handlebars during the ride. And the end wasn’t the only time he reached out to the mom known to her three children as ‘Meemers.’.
“Especially when the going got tough,” Wish said, “I would ask her for help. In the Appalachians, I said mom I need you, and she was there.”
His father Seth finished the last leg of the ride with him and recorded the video.
“Your mother would be proud,” he said as his son’s wheels hit the water.
The ride raised $15,000 for Hope Hospice, which serves more than 5,000 patients a year.
“They were so important for my mom, the way they cared for her,” Wish said. “And we wanted to say thank you. It felt great to hand them the check.”