Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Appalachian Trail: A Promise To Keep

On Geneviève's last day I called her on the phone.  Her father held the phone to her ear so I could say my goodbyes.  I told her I would miss her and that I would always remember her.  Over the phone I heard a whisper on the back of a soft exhale say "I know."  Her father took the phone and told me he knew that Gen heard me by the look in her eyes.  He held the phone back to her ear and I said:
"I will be walking the AT and I'm taking your picture with me so we will walk the AT together."
Her father said he didn't know what I'd said but her eyes had brightened.

Those were my last words to Gen.  With these words I'd made a promise and had given myself another reason to do the Appalachian Trail (AT).  Along with the physical challenge and the spiritual healing, reasons I mentioned last post, I now have a promise to keep.

I am carrying a small picture of Gen tucked inside my AT Passport.  On the back of the picture is an English translation of a poem that Gen recorded for her memorial.  The poem was written by Charlotte Néwashish-Flamand, a Native American.  I could not find very much information about her but I do know she wrote it when her Uncle died and she passed away not long after.

It is a beautiful poem.


To those I love and those who love me



When I'm gone, let me go.

Let me go, I have so much to do and see.

Do not cry while thinking of me, be grateful for the beautiful years, I have given you my friendship, you can only guess the happiness you have brought me.

I thank you for the Love that everyone has shown me, now it's time to travel alone.

For a short time, you may have trouble.

Faith will bring you comfort and consolation.

We will be separated for a while.

Let memories calm your pain, I'm not far away and Life goes on ...

If you need it, call me and I'll come.

Even if you can not see me or touch me, I'll be there.

And if you listen to your heart, you will clearly experience
the sweetness of love that I will bring.

And when it's time for you to leave, I'll be there to greet you.

Absent from my body, present with God.

Do not go to my grave to cry, I'm not there, I do not sleep.

I am the thousand winds that blow.

I am the light that crosses the fields of wheat.

I am the sweet autumn rain.

I am the awakening of the birds in the calm of the morning.

I am the one who shines in the night.

Do not go to my grave to cry I'm not here, I'm not dead

Matcaci {Goodbye}

- Charlotte Néwashish-Flamand

1 comment:

  1. Have a safe trail with your guardian angel, Bruce. She'll be there for U. I will follow you through your blog.
    Stéphanie, Montreal
    Gen's friend and coworker.

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