Kevin has been in agony with his shinsplints and I encouraged him to bus to Santiago. He will of course miss gazing at my red nose and grey roots over dinner, but needs must. My sister Pietra headed out to Bilbao as scheduled and then back to London to edit her latest doco which is set in Afghanistan. She never complained about her myriad of blisters or sore back. We had loads of laffs.
And of course Im never alone, really. I'm having imaginary conversations with my friend Louise all day long. Like when I stepped into the deep dark woods at 6.30 this morning...
...and I was rigid with fear, I just imagined her furious netball stance as our Centre and I burst out laughing. When a German Shepherd came at me barking (there are loads of untethered dog on the trails and many bite stories) I remembered Lou did pro bono work for the Spca and transmitted this to huge dog.
And of course every time I think of just one word - "dogtucker" - that she used to say ( the anecdote is too ribald to repeat even on this blog) i'd be snorchorkling. To meet her in passing youd never have guessed the ribaldry; she was utterly classic with no makeup, pearls, silk shirts, blackwatch tartan skirts and court shoes. Yes Lou, butter wouldnt melt girl.
When I heard the news about Lou dying suddenly and unexpectedly I was so sad I just wanted to go home. There there was the shot of fear - life is so fragile. That flick of her hair, the way she chuckled, everything about her was vivid. If she could pass so swiftly - then what?
But after the sun came up on a green mossy Galicia all I could do was grin from ear to ear thinking about her. And cry a bit. But mostly grin.
Yesterday I walked 36km and today 44km, the hours just flying by, re-playing the tape of my memories; this time searching behind her, beside her, who else was there that day? her old flat, her cat, her pot of tea, that pub, that court, that corner of the library.
Then re-winding the tape to see her once again.
Those memories are so important and vital. Louise will be right beside you as you walk because of them. I am thinking of you and your odyssey. If you have any memories you'd like to share let me know as George will be speaking.ReplyDelete
Oh Jody I'm so sorry you lost your dear friend but it sounds like she is right there with you now... maybe you're walking her to the other side.xoReplyDelete
Oh Jody I am so sorry to hear about your friend. How wonderful that she is giving you the courage to complete trail.ReplyDelete
A beautifully written tribute.
And I mustn't forget to mention Kevin - he must be gutted but so proud of you xx
What a great tribute to your friend Lou! I'll bet she would have approved...especially you soldiering on to finish the last leg. Stay strong and just as she has given perspective and inspiration to your journey, you have been doing the same for us. Safe travels Dearest Jody!!!!ReplyDelete
Joy, I'm very behind in blog reading - will try to catch up on your camino story. So sad to hear aw out your friend. I'm shedding tears .... Death is so final and grim. Your walk is so inspiring, and is, as GSL says above, a great tribute to Lou. XxxReplyDelete
So sorry to hear about your friend Jody, I've no doubt she'll be watching over you as she sounds like one hell of a person. Best of luck with the rest of the journey, you're an inspiration!! XReplyDelete
Hoping your happy memories of your friend bring you much comfort. I think you are truly amazing - stay safe and well for the remainder of your journey xReplyDelete
I had tears reading this. I'm sure Lou is right there with you walking the Camino. As for mortality, well we can all be snuffed out in a minute. Life is fragile, and beautiful and sad. You are showing great courage in continuing on alone xxReplyDelete
I am sorry to hear about your friend's death. She now travels in your heart. It most be very difficult not having your husband walking beside you. You are very courageous to persevere on your own. Congratulations. I have enjoyed seeing the sights with you and learning about the Camino. Almost there!ReplyDelete
Wow, she must have been an amazing person. I am so sorry Jody. You are doing so well and keeping her memory with you as you go. She must be by your side for sure. xx KimReplyDelete
terribly sorry for you loss.
Hang in there...you are almost done! Glad the memories of your friend are keeping you entertained and hopefully motivated!ReplyDelete
So sorry Kevin can't finish the walk with you. I had those when I was training really hard at the track and they are excruciatingly painful, so I can relate.
I am truly sorry to hear about your friend. Sending positive and loving vibes everyone's way.ReplyDelete
That's my girl! Sorry Kevin pussied out (I know he must be in a world of hurt). Have a wonderful last week and may you find joy in the loving memories of Lou.ReplyDelete
You keep going Jody, there is a reason you are on this walk at this time. I am so proud of you and so is Lou!ReplyDelete
You're amazing! I can just barely imagine doing the walk with my husband at my side, but on my own it wouldn't happen, I'd be too chicken.ReplyDelete
Lovely tribute, Jody. Keep grinning. :)ReplyDelete
SHE IS THERE FOR YOU!ReplyDelete
YOU GO GIRL.........I am so PROUD of YOU!!!
COFFEE when you get HOME PLEASE!I want to hear MORE!
Gosh Jody, this expedition has turned into so much more. Keep going, FBU are with you every step xxReplyDelete
What a lovely tribute. And kudos for continuing on. So often the only way out is through.ReplyDelete