Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hiking Expedition with Family and a Close Friend

I want to share a memory of mine that happened on a summer's day when the sun was shining brightly and all I could see was blue in the sky. 

I hiked a mountain in Herald Park in the summer of 2006, near the west shore of Shuswap Lake. My friends, family and I hiked the steep mountain until we reached the waterfall. The surroundings were filled with majestic trees and the sounds of nature were in the air, a variety of bird species spotted in the branches above. My friend Terry had rigged me up a back pack out of an old wheelchair seat with straps to hold me in place. It was amazing to me that he could carry me on his back all that way, stride by stride!

The trail was so steep that sometimes Terry had to crawl. I was concentrating on the beautiful scenery around me, but was also concerned with his well-being. The words that kept going through my head were "thank-you," and "awesome." At the time I had strong feelings of emotion and felt like crying with happiness and joy. The people with me could not comprehend my feelings at that moment in time; I could not verbally express myself. 

I was taking it all in, a variety of colors and shapes that flashed before my eyes. I was sure on one thing: I was in very capable hands with Terry. I knew that he would not let me fall. Still, I often asked myself the question, "Why would anyone do this!?" A conversation I'd had with Terry before we left kept playing in my head: "I love you; of course I will do anything for you. I count it as an honor. I want you to share my special day with me."

The day he was speaking of was his 30th birthday; my Mom had prepared a picnic lunch. When we arrived at Margaret Falls, we took a well-deserved break from our expedition by eating the delicious food while laughing and joking. My friends had extremely tired muscles from the long trek up the mountainside, their legs were about to collapse.

Just as we were to continue on our journey I had a surprise for my friend Terry, a gift between him and I. He was overjoyed and pleased with the gift that I presented him. My friendship with Terry was an unexpected surprise before all of this began. He is an unlikely character that I am privileged to know over these past years. He has had some struggles throughout his life and now was helping me to overcome one of my greatest obstacles, it didn't matter to him what he had to do. The memory of that day is strong; I'm always reminded of it on his birthday. The heart and soul of this journey will forever be imprinted in my mind, I can always return to that day filled with treasures.

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