Emotion envelops Hopkins' family for the last cycle road
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
Saturday made for a beautiful last ride for Arbor Court resident Rick Hopkins.
Hopkins had a wish that he wanted granted more than anything, to ride a motorcycle one last time. Kim Verrips, HCI Hospice Care Services nurse, made that wish come true on Saturday, Sept. 21.
The weather was perfect for Hopkins and he sat outside Arbor Court and waited anxiously for the ride to start. “I’m ready for the ride,” said Hopkins and sat and watched the people mill around and prepare for the ride.
There were tears from family members, Arbor Court workers and Hospice Care workers. It was an emotional morning as the family realized that Hopkins was getting his last wish fulfilled.
“He pointed to his heart, tapped it, and said ‘You’re filling a piece of my heart,’” said Verrips, as tears began forming again, “It’s very emotional.”
Hopkins was joined on the ride by his wife, Larinda Hopkins, his daughter, Brandy Hopkins and his two sons, Jason and Jacob Hopkins, who came all the way from Sioux City to join him on Saturday.
His wife said, “I’m so excited, very emotional and this is a great tribute to bikers everywhere.”
This ride was made possible by Verrips, who during a visit to Hopkins, was questioned about bandages on her arm. When she told Hopkins it was the cause of a motorcycle accident, Hopkins then told her of his dream to ride again.
In an instant, Verrips knew what to do. She made contact with a man named Larry Meador who had a wheelchair accessible sidecar attached to his bike. Meador used the bike to take his son on rides and he agreed to take Hopkins on this ride. Meador made the trip from Lanark, Ill.
Hopkins, joined with ABATE District 14 riders, his family, Meador and Verrips, began the ride at 1 p.m. and it went through Salem and Geode. Hopkins had a huge grin on his face and gave a thumbs-up as he left the parking lot.
Hopkins was able to have his wish fulfilled by all those involved in the event. “It was all about helping him do this one last thing he’s passionate about,” Verrips said.