Day 16 Nashua to Massachusetts
There is a certain sense of melancholy on the last day of a trip. After today there would be no more walking across our state (and this was particularly true because both Griffin and I had been cautioned by our doctors to give our feet and ankles a good few weeks of rest.) There would be no more life lessons learned by walking through towns we had only driven through before, windows up, radio on.
There would be no more long uninterrupted discussions with my son. What’s on your mind now?
Our sense of unity would be challenged. It’s one thing to spend time with your mom when she is the only company, it’s another to spend time with her when others are around and watching.
There is always a time of grieving that goes on at the end of a most excellent trip.
Griffin and I packed our bags. One bag to be sent home (things that we needed for the hotel) and our trusty packs which held the bare minimum.
After 16 days our backs had gotten stronger, our posture taller. Wearing a backpack no longer felt like a punishment, it felt like having an old friend with us.
Griffin dressed his feet for the walk one last time.
I slipped on my knee braces, first the right, then the left. Then my ankle braces, soft elastic on the left, an air splint on top of a bandage on the right.
In preparation for the last day of our walk, I had purchased two shirts for us to wear. I wore a bright blue one with a Superman logo and Griffin wore a Captain America shirt. We had become our own little super heroes and we wanted the world to know.
We went to get breakfast – muffin, banana and coffee for me. We heard people talking about a skunk that had sprayed near the hotel last night, about meetings that were going to be held later.
A woman walked by and said that she liked our shirts, not knowing why we were even wearing them. It must have seemed strange, seeing two people, a middle-aged woman and a young man both wearing outrageous superhero shirts at the breakfast table.
I thanked her.
Marc drove us to the park where we had ended our walk the previous day. It was early but you could tell it was going to be a brilliant day – clear skies and a little less warm than yesterday.
We hadn’t gone far before a woman came out of an office building to offer us water bottles. She had been keeping track of our walk. She knew we were coming. Her business wanted to acknowledge us.
We pulled a long drink from the bottles, put them in our pack and expressed our gratitude. Although we hadn’t expected anyone to notice our walk, knowing that people were following our progress and that they knew about our Lyme and chronic illness story spurred us on.
We did this walk for ourselves. We did this walk for everyone who suffers.
Seven miles. That’s all we had to do today. Seven miles.
Griffin and I turned back to the road and continued walking into town.
(Here’s some information on why we took this trip.)
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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