Last spring I had walked to the outskirts of Dallas County where a young man jogged up to me. He was a Marine and had been running off some excess energy. After he listened to me tell my tale to several others, that I had walked from Alabama across three states to end up in downtown Dallas, he asked if he could walk with me for awhile. He didn't have anything to do, had family members who suffered from diabetes and thought it was a good cause. Rarely does anyone walk with me for very long but this young man stayed with me for miles. When he ran up on me and asked if he could follow I expected he would turn back soon because his shoes were unlaced with thin ankle socks, shorts and a "wife beater" t-shirt. We got to know one another through the day. I couldn't stop talking most of the time, being so accustomed to walking alone. Having someone to talk with made the miles pass with ease. Having been to war, he had someone safe to talk to and he, I hope, felt better talking instead of "bottling it up". He offered to stay with me all the way to "the grassy knoll". After a few hours his arms and neck were red as a lobster when a woman called me on my phone(she had passed by earlier and then looked up the website to get the number) asking if there was anything I needed. I said I needed a long sleeve shirt for my new friend. She was there in minutes with a shirt just his size. (Still amazed at the timing of that) He had a good knowledge of the downtown streets leading to Dealy Plaza, the questionable areas I had to pass thru to get there and advised I keep pushing to the end. With his assistance I traveled the longest distance I ever covered in one day. He, coincidentally, had a fascination with the death of John F. Kennedy. While he led me along the route to the plaza he shared several theories he had researched.When we had finally made our way to the book depository and the painted"x" on the pavement showing where the president was first hit I had learned more about the event than I knew before. More than I cared to know. I stood at the grassy knoll, late at night when the city was quiet, as a train clicked slowly by echoing off the buildings as it went. There I had no epiphany, only more questions and I could understand why my new friend had researched so thoroughly though he had been born decades after the assassination. Sometimes I think the world conspires to bring me to places and people so I will look at it from a different perspective. On some things other than diabetes. Even though I constantly learn more about diabetes when I walk for diabetes awareness through the people I meet, the world always has a little something extra, just to keep me wondering.
I met a man. He gave me a ride to my van one day and told me his "Claim to fame!" He was the one that got to fabricate a stretch-convertible to be used by the president when he worked in R&D at Ford. He told me he fabricated bullet proof panels and glass for it and "they" wouldn't let him put them on. " ...ready to bolt together and they wouldn't let me."
As I recall, the wind was blowing hard that day, where the wind would let me get just a few miles. And.(writing on my "smart phone I somehow added these next few lines, a short testimonial from someone I met on the road... It is anybody's guess how it happened..[ Erik you and Nice are awesome and have made a huge change in my families life. We are getting better at eating healthy food everyday. It's a process and a journey to getting everyone on board but we have started the journey and feel great :O) Thank you and may each step of your travels be blessed! ]<3(accidental cut and paste...think I will leave it...some things happen for a reason, a theory)we met by the place I was going to stop for the day. Had the wind not blown me backwards all day I would have walked by hours before he and his wife stopped next door to eat. Did I mention "the Hammer" had been diabetic since he was forty two years old. Diabetes, a world wide problem.
Go for a walk. You never know who you could meet.