There were little ones who got their pictures in the paper while existing totally in a world of their own, snuggling VIP Pets or showing sisters how to draw on the sidewalk just so. Parents stood by, smiling, unconcerned, feeling the sun's warmth and the glow, standing around, watching their kids and the dogs and feeling the love.
The Nicest Couple on the Planet organized the Cornell Cares volunteers, who stamped and greeted and gave out sidewalk chalk and hustled donations disguised as raffle prizes. They raised several hundred dollars, a little bit more than last year, and everyone seemed satisfied with the goodies received.
A few t-shirts were sold, many were given away, and everyone agreed that the silk-screening was very well done. The boxes went back into The Schnozz for storage in the corner of my garage, boldly labeled for easy access.
Clearly, asking TucsonSherri to coordinate was a wise choice.
Christina's paved pathway is covered with love and affirmations and butterflies and boats and flowers and instructions. Sunday morning, walking Nordic-style with one pole, pausing on the way out to take pictures, making it all the way to the first bridge, I smiled at the bicyclists and striders and amblers as they smiled at the words and the pictures and at me.
Christina-Taylor would have been proud of us, being out and about, moving, and I admit to being a little teary as I walked all the way back without stopping once, talking to my lost little friend, feeling pretty damn proud of myself as I took long, wide, measured steps, not cocking my hip or thrusting my shoulder, allowing my torso to do some of the work and my arms to swing naturally.
Three years ago, I was in surgery. I don't remember much of it, being unconscious and all. Two years ago, I leaned on my husband's strong arm to get fifty steps down the path. Our hug was on the front page of the paper. Last year, I walked back from the turn-around point at Thornydale, with two poles, pausing every few steps to take a picture, to catch my breath, to stretch my aches and pains. It was more, but not enough.
On Sunday, I walked. I was aerobically exhausted at the end, the kind of tired that makes my muscles sing and my breath come from deep down in my lungs. All of me was working and none of it was hurting. I was tired, but I was able.
I haven't said that in a very long time.
For those of you who came out to join the festivities, Congressman Ron Barber and the Cornell Club of Southern Arizona, and GRIN volunteers and Prince Students and Parents and Teachers and my friends, my very special friends, new and old and related to one another and glad to visit and stroll and draw and share the love.... to all of you who were there in spirit if not in the flesh.... and to Christina-Taylor, whose spirit enhances my life..... thank you for being you.
Photos from the Stroll & Roll 2014
more pictures on Facebook and Google+ if I can figure out how to upload them