This time next month will be our last night in a comfortable bed….up early in the morning to begin our 8 day climb up Kilimanjaro taking with us the memory of the 49.
Moshi Tanzania is a colorful, bustling town beneath Kilimanjaro. From outside our hotel we look across at the boss…Mt.Kilimanjaro. The highest freestanding mountain in the world and one of the 7 highest summits on 7 continents. “She” taunts you with …..”come hither”. For 8 days, she becomes the devil within, the quiet and peace of your every breath, the push and pull of your sanity. In the end, you are a changed person. She smiles with gratitude and comfort of knowing exactly what she has put you through and how that has changed you. I know this, I experienced it.
To say I am a little anxious is putting it lightly. I certainly did not feel this the last climb, it could be that I was stupidly ignorant as to what I was to endure for 8 days. Now I know my weaknesses and fears however, I also know the peace it brought me and yes, I love the challenge. 2016 was a year of searching change within myself. Kilimanjaro had made me look at myself….relationships, environment…where did I now fit in. Parkinson’s forces you to question these by the mere fact that it…PD…keeps moving or hesitates then one day out of the blue and with a smirk says….” just kidding, got to keep moving and by the way I’m taking away your sense of smell”. You start wondering how much more you can take and function independently. You then dwell on your relationships, you don’t want to put anyone through what’s ahead for you, you question your professional effectiveness…on and on…..then you get sick, panic sets in…welcome to my Christmas and New Years.
Someone told me the other day that I am brave….shame on me for even for just a second thinking…”yes, I am brave”….Brave are those 49 who endured hours of terror, brave are their loved one on the other end of the line knowing that this was goodbye. Brave are those wonderful women who fled to safe houses and graduated back into the work force knowing that with the support of Sicily and Fall into Fabulous would never endure abuse again. They are the brave ones, I salute them.
They will be with me every step up that mountain…we have many mountains to climb together.
I’m looking forward to this weekend when I do a gear check and start packing. I got a email from Freddie last night saying how excited he was knowing that we will see each other in a few short weeks. Freddie was my guide and life saver last climb and has become family…..told you the mountain changes you!!!!