So much has happened this since I ended my Appalachian Trail attempt this summer. Admittedly I sulked for most of July because after spending so much time and effort planning a through hike I felt dejected. But then the realities of life started popping up everywhere I turned, some pleasant while others most unwelcome. I soon realized that things REALLY do happen for a reason. My husband suffered an eye injury just after I left Maine on the AT which turned out to be much worse than originally diagnosed. It would have been terrible if I was far from home because knowing me I would have been frantic trying to return. The injury took almost 6 weeks to completely heal after which I laid down the law ~ no mucking about in the woods or using power tools unless he wears safety goggles (as you might have surmised, this wasn’t his first eye injury). No sooner did that heal then he developed a diabetic ulcer on one of his toes which required antibiotic therapy as well as twice daily treatments for several weeks.
My youngest daughter worked in law enforcement for 12 years until an assault by a prisoner several years ago. The attack caused physical injuries that essentially ended her career and started a long battle for compensation of recurring medical costs. Her attacker was sentenced to 2 years in prison and was recently released. Ironically he assaulted a civilian and is currently wanted by the police. She continues to battle neuropathic pain that is often incapacitating which needless to say has dramatically altered her previously healthy, active lifestyle leading to a certain amount of depression. Our calendar is always full of entries between both her and hubby’s medical appointments. I try to reinforce the positive for my daughter because as one who’s walked the dark lonely road of depression I know all to well how overpowering it can be. The brunt of the attack was to her cervical spine so I try to emphasize that if it was meant to be, at least it wasn’t worse. How many times have we read about someone injuring their neck during a sporting event or even a minor car accident only to become paralyzed? I don’t know about you but looking at the “what ifs” and turning to humor have been my biggest coping mechanisms in life. We’ve all heard the aphorism (or parable) from the Persian poet Sa’di of the man who was sad because he had no shoes until he met a man who had no feet. Remembering that has served me well over the years.
I spent a lot of time at the river with the dogs. We have our own little slice of heaven just across the street and through the woods where the dogs can swim and play without fear of traffic or other dogs as it’s completely private. We set up folding chairs and spend about 2-3 hours each time. By then they’re worn out and ready for a nap.