Nice (the dog) and me spent Tuesday resting with friends, wrote a heartfelt post about Monday. Between exhausted sleep where I had vivid dreams filled with adventure and people I have met along the road. Then I lost the post because this Blackberry gets clogged up and seized up when I pressed the "publish post" button. Now I will do it again...
Monday we were at our starting point and were visited by two women and their little dog named Dixie who had fun with Nice as we talked and took pictures. As they drove off they were singing a Worldguy song they made up as they went. I was quite flattered. We began from the parking lot of the Zion church just East of the Martin Luther King Jr. Park where I stopped to take some pictures at the pavilion. Hundreds of geese had been staying there and were gathering in gaggles for flight. Every few minutes a group would leave overhead. I wondered who was the goose air traffic controller because it was a very orderly pattern. I took a great picture as the flew above our little World but my file system was full. Lost to my memories.
We then rolled on through a historic district before coming to some large sculptures on the grounds of the museum where I, like a good tourist, posed pictures and sent them to face book. I saw later a sign pointing towards H&R Block Art space and thinking it too may be an outside space went in search of it. Finally I asked a man who was leaving a corner store where ut was. He said he had lived in the neighborhood for years and knew it was close but had not seen it. He held the World against the wind as I inquired inside the store who pointed across the street to a "block" structure hidden in plain sight from the man outside for years. He and I walked on laughing about the grandiose Art space.
As we went further. The heat of the day super heated the inner city like a croc-pot. We had to stop several times and I put on the paw protectors for Nice who was not liking the endless pavement. (nor was I)
We rolled on closer to downtown and walked to the WW1 war memorial across from Union Station. The big cities are fun to walk through because people are too busy to notice a man, a dog, and a six foot inflatable World rolling by. All day we talked to very few people. Only those who had heard of us in the media seemed interested. I am aware of this and had no expectations of the warm welcome of smaller communities like Sedalia Missouri, or Wayne County Illinois. I was content taking a few picture at the fountain in front of Union Station being invisible to most as they passed, involved in the hustle and bustle of their day.
As I was about to move along from the fountain and on toward Kansas a man came up with a bag of water , an apple, a banana, and a treat for Nice(the dog). He was many years younger than I and he thanked me for what I was doing. He also gave me a donation as he again thanked me for helping raise awareness for diabetes. As I shook his hand he told me his Mother had. had diabetes. Now I can't say whether it was the heat, my exhaustion from walking without a full days rest since St.Louis or (as my host jokingly said) "a Jesus moment" but when we clasped hands and looked at one another I was overwhelmed with emotion. I could see in him the same pain of loss I have known since loosing our Mother as a young man. We shook each others hand and without another word, just a strained smile, we turned away. I was a train wreck outside Union Station. Picking up the pieces I walked on.
Later I came to the world headquarters of H&R Block for. Whom my sister "up North" has worked for decades. She had e-mailed her associates that I. Had walked a great distance for diabetes and would be stopping by. I did , and I talked to many as they left hurriedly from work asking if they had gotten the e-mail. Some had actually read it and some shared stories of loved ones who were living and managing their diabetes. I was encouraged. I hope somehow to encourage a large organization to contribute to research and help find help for this epidemic disease. I am committed to my little walks for diabetes and know the generous help I get from good people along the path is a small contribution compared to what corporations can give. I will learn someday to climb that mountain, cross that bridge, walk that road.
For now I will walk along the roads of our good land and do what I can to encourage exercise and a healthy lifestyle to prevent and manage diabetes.
We then walked along to the last bridge we needed to cross into Kansas (my goal for this part of our journey) The bridge was under construction and one side was free for us to walk when my son called as I was on the middle of the span. We talked and said our "I love you's" . Then a man came up and sat with us for a time, we talked of the walk and of other things... When he left I was searching for something in my bag and when I looked up the bridge he was gone. I am sure he must have ran because it seemed just a few moments from when I looked in the bag to when I looked for him on the bridge. Again, the heat.
Then my support team for the day came and we walked to Kansas where a good man watched over the World and Nice(the dog) while another took me to get the van.I began this little walk having faith things would work out well. Times like those, help from good souls along the way, are a daily example of this.
We are going to drive soon to Colorado and in honor of my Uncle and everyone else who work to keep diabetes under control I will roll up Pike's Peak, the highest "14" in the contiguous U.S.A , to complete this little contribution to the cause of Diabetes
I will keep posting and will again remember to. Reboot this Blackberry before each post so I don't loose another post.
Walking with love , erik