If you read my last blog post, you would know that Madison and I were in Calgary for a hockey tournament this past week. We came home New Year’s Eve morning and were happily greeted by Nathan and Mike. Mike was pleased to report that Erin took great care of him while we were gone and everything went well.
For weeks before we left, I had been anticipating being away from Mike. I was worried that something would happen, or that he would need help and no one would be there for him. Something I didn’t anticipate was escaping ALS. I missed Mike right away, but I didn’t miss ALS, and I felt guilty and sad. I felt guilty because I could escape ALS, but Mike couldn’t and I felt sad for the same reason.
One afternoon, we had a few hours of free time, so I ventured out for a long walk. It was a beautiful, sunny day, so I headed to the Bow Valley Trail, which wasn’t far from our hotel. It was a gorgeous walk and all I kept thinking about was how Mike would love this walk.
One of our favourite pastimes is walking. We used to love going downtown (Vancouver) and just walking for hours…the streets or the sea wall, or both. We have walked trails and paths that lead to unknown places and many trails and paths we knew well. We have walked the dikes, around lakes, along beaches and up mountains. We love to walk around our neighbourhood and other neighbourhoods…and so on.
I was able to walk briskly along the Bow Valley Trail the other day, but would have enjoyed it much more with Mike at the snail’s pace we walk at together. I thought of the last walk Mike and I went on together; it was Christmas night and Mike was staggering more than usual. I held his arm and we walked through our neighbourhood looking at the Christmas lights. We went to the house around the corner that Erin has nick-named ‘The Vegas House’ and observed the thousands of lights like we had a few times before. There were cars coming and going and people standing along the black wrought iron fence, taking it all in. Mike joked about how people were going to see us and say, “That poor woman has to help her drunk husband get home after way too much rum and eggnog.” I laughed and said that perhaps it looked like he was helping me…that maybe I looked like the lush. Either way, neither of us had anything to drink and I was guessing that the days of walking for hours around the city of Vancouver were gone. But I am not complaining. I will gladly stagger around our neighbourhood glued to Mike’s side for as long as we can.
I enjoyed the Bow Valley Trail, but later that night in bed I pleaded with the Lord (quietly as to not disturb coach Shay in the next bed) that He not only extend our walking time together, but that He extend Mike’s days on this planet and give him quality of life. May Mike enjoy the few things still left that he loves to do for a long, long time to come!
Needless to say the great escape was not so great without my mate!
Views from the Bow Valley Trail in Calgary, Alberta