My mother. I can’t believe that she is past. She was born in a small town in Pomeroy, Washington (in the corner next to Idaho and Oregon). A wheat farmer’s daughter. She had eight children; all so different and strong in their own way. We were not rich, but we never lacked for food or clothing. She baked her own bread and taught us to be contributors, whether we worked outside the home, or helping to clean the home. We learned the value of work.
I am sixth of eight children. The oldest “baby.” 4th of 5 daughters, and often felt lost in the confusion that is a big family. I’ve had to push my entire life, and she never let me stop. Every accomplishment, she would say, “Good! Now go after—-”
She broke her hip in August, acquired a bleeding ulcer from medication, and slowly developed anorexia. Once a strong force, to a fading beauty, slowly letting go, but even to the last day, she remained strong in her spirit. The last day, when given medication to ease her passing, she asked, “Why do I need it if I am not in pain?” Oh momma: never taking the easy way out of anything.
In a moment alone in her hospital room, she told me that she was so proud of my walking the Camino. She couldn’t believe that I would go alone, walk so far. I had decided to go again, I told her. She patted my arm smiling and asked why. I told her that my goal was never to walk alone. During my first Camino I had felt so anxious, lonely, and awkward about pushing into groups that I saw forming along the way. But this time, I was going to seek out others and walk in joy. I would not walk through isolated places alone, but would wait until other pilgrims strolled by. She just nodded her head.
My younger sister and I have always been close.
We call each other twin, and although our lives are very different, we have found the need to be close consistent. Tina asked to join me on this Camino. My goal of never walking alone has been met.
And yesterday, another sister called telling me that she wanted to join us in walking for our mother. The three pilgrim’s. It is interesting to me how you can begin by planning your Camino. Setting your goals. It is also
amazing that the Camino would provide one of my goals even before I have left home. What is the Camino making way for? What are we to learn as we walk?
So this will be the beginning of a new Camino. With sisters to walk with, a Camino family. The journey begins April 24, 2018. Raise a glass: to Lorna Rae!