Friday, July 20, 2012

Road Trip

Have you ever heard someone say, "we're taking a road trip"?  For Jed and me, the road trip took us.  It took us almost 1700 miles up, over, and through this beautiful country.  "Alone?"  People would say.  "You're going alone!  What if something happens?"  Well, something happened.  We cuddled two great grandchildren, watched a banjo be passed to a new generation, laughed and played with the three Colorado grandsons, and got hugged by our sons.  Something happened alright.  For almost 10 days we left therapy and schedules and lived somewhat normal.  We studied maps, planned routes and sometimes even took the road less traveled. 

 At each major juncture we evaluated whether we had the strength and fortitude to move on.  Each stop, each goal,  presented challenges that we faced and then enjoyed.  There was nothing easy about this trip and being home feels good, but we got out there and lived.  These memories will not fade quickly.  The smells of the mountain rains, the beauty of a brewing storm as the clouds stir and dance, the thrill of a road almost impassable as the rain poured part of the mountain itself in our path...these and the gondola ride to the mountain top...these were therapy, perhaps not for the strength of the legs, but for the strength of the spirit. 

When you live a sheltered life in a therapy/caregiver world, the handicap becomes the norm.  But when you venture out, when the trip take you beyond your comfort, everywhere you are reminded that you're different.  Sometimes that brings sadness and tears, but mostly it reinforces internal strength.  As we strolled up and down Fremont street in Las Vegas,  I couldn't help but wonder how it must feel to be on wheels in a walking world. 

One of my facebook friends posted "21 pictures" to reinforce your belief in humanity.  They were beautiful and made me cry.  They were picture of people offering help to others.  We experienced a great deal of that on our journey.  Kindness over and over.  Offers of help and gestures of understanding.  Caught in a sudden freezing downpour on the mountain top, a young man ran to meet us with his umbrella.  That picture would have made the "21 pictures"  had it been taken. 

The many twists and turns and climbs and falls reminded us of the very life we live.  Sometimes the climb was so steep it seemed impossible, sometime the twists and turns monotonous, and then suddenly there would be a beautiful valley, a phenomenal stone structure or a vista that echoed breathtaking hope.  Perhaps that's why I love a road trip so much.  Each journey is a mini life well lived. 

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