Here’s a picture of us at the beginning. Full of hope. My husband stayed behind to tend the two girls and my daughter took her baby along. She didn’t have a backpack, so she put the baby’s bottle and her water bottle in my grandson’s pack. Baby snacks and diaper wipes are put into mine. (This was a very bad idea.)
Last year, I hiked the trail with my youngest son, Benjamin, and my youngest daughter, Christina. They are in way better shape than I am, but my son stayed by my side and helped me up the rocks and encouraged me when I was tired. My daughter went ahead and stopped occasionally to wait for us, and then took off again.
This year, my two sons and my grandson went ahead at their young-manly pace. (My thought is they were each trying to show the other one up.) My daughter and her friend and I started out together but it didn’t take long to discover who was in better shape. My daughter with her baby tied around her middle outpaced me easily. Her friend, I’m sure, could have made it up with the young men, but stayed with my daughter and visited.
I was alone.
I was soon discouraged and wanted to quit. Although this daughter and her friend stopped occasionally to see if I was okay; as soon as I appeared around the bend, they went on their way. There was no one to talk to, no one to share the experience with, no one to struggle beside.
|The beginning of the trail is that way.|
I was in the abominable pit with sheer cliffs around me. I couldn’t see the beginning, nor could I see the end. This is when I started thinking of life’s comparisons, and why it was more fun on my first trip.
|The end is off to the left somewhere.|
Whether we’re having a good experience or a bad experience, life is better with someone to share it with. People need people. I don’t think there’s a truer statement.
I had plenty of water, plenty of snacks to keep me going. But I didn’t care if I made it because I was by myself. I finally got to the switchbacks, and figured I’d just stay there until my group came back down. And then I saw my son, and I flumped down onto the dirt. He knew I was safe, I didn’t have to go further.
He saw me and ran down to me, and asked if I was okay. He held my hand and literally pulled me up to the top. When we got there, he said, “Now that you’ve made it all the way, don’t you feel better?”
|My son and grandson, heroes.|
I did, indeed, feel better.
I had finished my course, and someone cared enough to help me.
On the way back down, my grandson stayed by my side, and we had a good visit along the way.
|A view from the top. (That's not me.)|
Although we each have our own journey through this life, it is much better when we share our lives with others. It makes a huge difference when others are there, and we need to remember that when we see friends or neighbors who are struggling and alone. It takes such a small effort to reach out and help someone—but it could make a huge difference in their life.
|Mother and daughter and baby finished the hike.|
Life is easier with someone by our side, encouraging us and helping us.