On February 19, 2019, my world came tumbling down around me. At the age of 23, Anna, my oldest child, lost her life because some one choose to drive under the influence of meth. In the early mornng hours on that Tuesday morning, the driver crossed over the yellow double solid lane coming into Anna's lane hitting her head on. She was killed on impact and he lived. To make matters worse, this crash could have been avoided. The guy who killed my daughter had been pulled over 30 minutes before the crash. The officer after learning that he had no drivers license, told the driver to pull his car off the road and after seeing the guy drive up the road, the officer left the scene. Not a few seconds later the driver was spotted driving recklessy down the road weaving in and out of the two lane highway to pass atleast three others cars before he crahsed into Anna's car. Less than 8 minutes after the police officer pulled away from the guy, my daughter was dead.
The past seven months has been the hardest. The first two months i dont even really rememeber. With each passing month it gets a little easier as well as a little harder. There are days where I am ok. Then their are days where the black gloomy clouds just settle over me and I am swept away in grief, not realy living just going through the motions.
One thing that does seem to help is hiking. I was not able to hike much after the first month of Anna's death. But I found that I needed to be in my happy place. So I would bundle my self up and just go sit on a bench at the park that she worked at and just stare over the Shenandoah River on the Overlook Trail. But as days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months, I found myself out on the trail. I found myself wanted to get back and hike. I had been working on a section of the AT and completed the last 10 miles on a weekend, hiking 5 miles on a Saturday and 5 miles on a Sunday.
I have decided that I will thru hike the AT starting on 4/22/21 (Anna birthday) and will do a hike starting off at Grayson Highlands as Anna loved horses. However I know find my self back to square one as far as my hiking ability goes. I think the grief that I had over Anna's death has settled into my body and now as I try to work out the grief in my body Iam slowly recovering my ability to hike again. My Thru Hike will not be about making it to Maine or how many miles I can get in a day or if I make it. It will be healing journey as well as a forgiviness journey.