Today I started my "official" training for the 3-Day walk in D.C. I have been doing short walks (1-2 miles), a few times a week since about the beginning of March. And boy am I glad I did that.
Today's walk was 3.6 miles. I finished in just under an hour.
I forgot to charge my phone prior to the walk, and I also forgot my ear-buds, so I didn't listen to any music while I walked.. So I was left with the sound of my footsteps, traffic, birds, etc. So, as I walked I started thinking about my walking route, and why I was doing what I was doing, as there is cause and effect to everything.
On the start of my walk, I was thinking about my route. I was walking along Explorer Blvd in Cummings Research Park. I was thinking that if along the way I started to get too tired, or my knee started hurting, or my feet started hurting, that I could take one of the cut-through roads back to my office.
As I approached the first opportunity to head back, about 1/3 of the way on my route, I started thinking of the people that have walked in these events, like Patti, and countless others. I watched as that first opportunity to cut back went by... and I kept walking on my planned route.
As I passed that first road, I started thinking about Patti, and Mom, and Melissa, and Annie. I was really focused on Mom's last few weeks before she passed. I have no idea what she was really thinking or feeling, was she scared? Was she sad? Was she excited for her coming journey? Did she even worry about it? Or did she just let God take the reigns as she always said, "If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it."
My second opportunity to turn towards the office just passed by.... and I kept walking on my planned route.
I like to think that Mom was not sad. I do recall when Patti and I were there just before Mom passed, I asked her if she was worried. She said that she was a little worried, and just kind of shrugged her shoulders as if to say "Yeah, but I've been worried before and I got through it."
I would imagine that Mom was doing a lot of praying inside as her ability to communicate diminished. And I believe that during that time she knew what was about to happen. I am pretty sure that the Lord gave her comfort, and let her know that she was going to be coming home soon. I know he brought me comfort. As I said before, I had this overwhelming feeling that Mom was excited about her coming journey home. Nothing but the grace of God can bring you that kind of peace when you are watching your Mom being taken from you, hour by hour.
The last opportunity to turn back to the office just passed by. And I am more than half way, and I'm feeling pretty good, and I'm staying on my planned route!
I started thinking about how Patti, just after battling breast cancer and enduring surgery, was still looking forward to her 3-Day walk as a survivor. In fact, I think she was looking forward to this one more than ever. Still healing from her surgery, and still healing from her Battle, she did it.
I also thought about Melissa, and what she endured with her cancer. She suffered through 5 surgeries in 5 years, the last two involved infections (MRSA) and painful car trips back and forth to Atlanta. She lost her natural ability to have children, and this affected her greatly. She also suffered the unknowns.. did they really get it all? If not, will it show up anywhere else? The waiting, I'm sure, was not easy. But now she is 10 years cancer free!!!!
And then I thought about my feet... my knee... man, that's nothing. Its a temporary bit of discomfort. They will feel better tomorrow... or the next day. This pain is not going to take my life.. or the life of a loved one. Short cut back to the office?? Hell no. Mom didn't have a shortcut to take, Patti didn't have a shortcut to take, Melissa didn't have a shortcut to take.