It takes time to heal, and whether it is emotional or physical, the healing process goes at its own pace.
One Christmas, my brother, decided to take us on a bushwalk that we took with Dad while growing up. It was a walk down memory lane, so we were all keen on it. Two family members had checked out the track. They warned that it was rugged going but felt we would all be okay. They made their risk assessment of the situation.
We tasked my niece, a newish driver (and a very good one), with taking a carload to the cliff overhang. The forestry no longer maintains the roads, so they were poor. In fact, without carefully looking out the window through the long grass, it was hard to see the steep drop-offs on the edge of the road. Fortunately, with all the eyes in the vehicle, we reached our destination safely and began the descent on foot to see this unique piece of nature. The track was so overgrown that having a machete would have been very helpful, but it was clear enough to pass, and we knew it so well from childhood that we were not concerned about getting lost.
Unfortunately, when I reached out to steady myself on a tree branch, the whole thing snapped off, and I fell forward and injured my back as the muscles spasmed to protect themselves in the fall. I did make it down, and the view was spectacular.
We took a family photo for old times’ sake down there, one that we can never capture again because poor health prevents some of us from making the trek again.
However, there was a cost: my back. I have spent months at the physio. Was it worth doing? I am torn as I love the family photo and dad’s memory that comes with it. We even found some bailing twine he had left on a tree as a marker many years earlier. A lot could have gone wrong on that trip; the trek certainly would not have passed Workplace Health and Safety standards. But if I had stayed in my comfort zone, I would have missed those rich memories.
The cost was injuring my back, was unfortunate, but for our family memories and healing from the grief of losing both our parents, it was worth the risk, despite the months it took to heal.
Until next time, Leisa