As we have done every year for the past many years, today on Father’s Day we went for a nice nature walk. We drove up past the Comstock Covered Bridge in Colchester, CT to a secluded parking area along the Airline Trail, which is an old railroad line converted to a beautiful trail perfect for walking, running, and biking.
Knowing that Amber isn’t quite ready for such a long walk, we dug out the old jogging stroller for her, which worked out well. In total, the family walked about a mile out on the trail, and a mile back, with a stop for snacks midway. It was sunny and hot, but enough shade all along to make it a wonderful way to spend the time.
Of course, thinking back to the 50 days spent in the hospital, and what we’ve gone through over the past 3 months, I am very thankful to have my whole family with me today. But even more noteworthy for today was Amber’s determination to get out of the stroller and walk.
The trail is very well maintained, but it is still a trail. Loose dirt and gravel is not nearly as level and stable as a wooden or linoleum floor. But Amber wanted to walk, and so she did. With nothing more than holding either my hand or Caron’s hand, Amber walked about a mile of the trek, in two half-mile spurts with a break in between. Not even two months ago, Amber took her first steps after 36 days in the hospital, and was exhausted by a yard of walking. Now, she is up to a half-mile at a time! Yes, she is still working on her balance, but that too is getting better, as she walks around the house (with us hovering within inches) unassisted. This 6-year-old’s determination is impressive!
And so I pray that her determination, her motivation continues. I pray for her left leg and foot, her left arm and hand to continue to regain their strength. I pray that she be cured of the cancer, that no tumors return, that there are no other developments that threaten her longevity.
But most of all, regardless of long-term outcome, I pray that God keeps her happy — just as she was today, holding my hand as I walked alongside her; as she put the effort, the focus into her journey today, one step at a time, and I provided her whatever support she needed on her way.
Yes, today’s walk was rather symbolic for me.