GRIN invited the community to walk on the path named for my little friend. Part of BEYOND!, designed by Gabe Zimmerman's family to get the community focused on moving past the tragedy, into remembering those taken and damaged by moving in the great outdoors.
Ross, Gabe's father, likes to say that Tucson has more hiking trails in its immediate environs than any other city in the USA. Even if it's not true, it feels like it is. We used the path along the Canada del Oro wash. It's paved, with bridges and underpasses and a fence separating the walkway from the sandy wash. Shared by cyclists and walkers and dogs and scooters, it's a well-used exercise venue on the northwest side of town.
On Saturday, friends and strangers joined the Humane Society's VIP Pets
and GRIN volunteers as we moved BEYOND! and shared the love. Free sidewalk chalk let participants give free reign to their thoughts
and their hearts.
I photographed most of it later in the day.
I spent the morning hugging and laughing and remembering.
Yogi Marsha came and told me I was strong and brave.
Ms Magic Hands and her son rode his fantastic new bike and ran and delivered more chalk to those too far to restock themselves.
Fellow shootees came, as they always do, with their grandchildren, who are no longer the babies who began Strolling and Rolling in 2012. Their big girl, eschewing her scooter, was the subject of a lovely (copyrighted) photograph in the Sunday paper.
Those who were 9 in 2011 have a special relationship to Christina-Taylor.
They have heard her story and have helped me heal and they have shared that with those they love.
They brought their mothers and their fathers and their sisters and cousins, because part of the Stroll and Roll is to share what you love with others. The Prince Mustangs had earned the right to ride the bus that morning by spending the semester walking around the track in the morning, before school. Their laps were recorded by Student Council members, who were justifiably proud of their own efforts.
They surrounded every person they passed - including our Arizona Rangers, with love and joy.
God was there
and so were
There was artistry
Some caught my heart.
and some made me laugh
and all of them were this:
Someone wrote this
and I'm happy to say "You are welcome" because it's true.