I am taking a look back with this reprinted article, circa July 2010, remembering why I keep going to the National Walk To Remember and how this First One, inspired our TCF EOTR Connecticut’s Annual Statewide Walk to Remember each year since…..
THE NATIONAL WALK TO REMEMBER
July 4th ~ Arlington, Virginia. 8:00 a.m.
While “civilians” ‘back home’ loaded their cars with potato salads, lawn chairs and fireworks before heading out for their Independence Day picnics, a reverent, yet upbeat magnitude of Compassionate Friends Walkers began to gather. There are no words to adequately describe the emotion of seeing groups numbering nearly 1,500 Compassionate Friends, walking together in Remembrance of their children, siblings grandchildren. Nearly all wore white tee shirts, the WALK TO REMEMBER LOGO and their child or sibling’s photo button adorning the front, and many added pictures of their child on the back. Individuals and representative from various Chapters carried signs and banners, loving listing names of those gone too soon. Over 10,000 names were carried…an absolutely awesome number. Jim and I added names of children from our Chapter to our Walk to Remember “signs”.
The 2 mile walk took place as the heat began to pour from the pavement and the air was heavy with humidity….but no one seemed to care. We were all there for a purpose ~ to collectively honor our loved ones, and to give each other strength, fellowship and love. IT wasn’t a SAD Walk; it was a STRONG Walk. At the midway point there was a mini-park where walkers took breaks, enjoyed the mist of the waterfall, and shared memories of their loved ones. It was there that I had a very personal and touching experience. Needing a break from my emotions, I took a short walk off of the path and began to cry. “Are you with me, Robyn?” I sobbed, thinking of all of the fund-raising walks we had done together. “Are you there?”, I whispered.
No sooner had the words left my mouth, then a baby robin hopped directly into the path in front of me! Camera in hand, I laughed and cried, as I began to snap photos with shaking hands. Suddenly, the mother robin appeared, chasing after the baby and then stopping to feed it. For several minutes I was alone in the world, watching as a mom nourished and then protected her baby robin. Then the baby hopped off and the mom first began to go after it and then hopped away in another direction, I presume to focus my attention on her, to leave her baby safe. Our trip to the National Compassionate Friends Conference has already been worth every cent and every mile, but in that one moment, I felt in the Absolute Glory of not only Nature, but in All Possibilities.
Bettie-Jeanne, Robyn’s mom