Even in the heat of summer, Mom and I try to walk each day. My day, if it isn't raining (and what is that, anyway?) begins with a lap in Sam's lane. It's just 0.6 miles round trip but it's enough to get my legs moving and my lungs expanding for another day.
But late in the afternoon, say 3 pm, Mom and I head out to the park where we manage some semblance of another walk. Since her two hospitalizations in the spring (the most recent in May), Mom can't go very far. But she tries and that's enough for me.
She also tries to remember her cane. When she doesn't, she has the smooth limb of a tree on the back floor of the car and uses that. The cane was used by Dad, all those years when his arthritis took him down and made him nearly unable to move. He'd take my arm with one hand, hold the cane in the other, and off we'd go. Mom does the same (though she insists on holding my left arm; Dad always chose my right).
We walk beyond the first bend and have as a turn-around spot at gate in the fence that surrounds a baseball diamond. I can sense her watching for it. She slows, begins to tug back as we approach it, will not be taken beyond it. I suppose she worries whether she can get back to the car should we walk farther. Years ago, we made the entire circuit of the park (0.7 mile); now we do barely a quarter of that.
When the wind is blowing she wears her pink slumber cap. And though it may be a 90° day with the sun burning our flesh, she won't walk without a sweater.
Here she enjoys a short rest on a bench that sides the water.
This picture somehow reminds me of my great-grandmother, Josephine Huesman, who died when I was a toddler of just three. And yet I remember her well. She often wore a cap similar to this and that's why the picture tugs at my memory.
In the summer, we'll continue walking at the park as long as we can. In the winter we'll use the hallways of the New Lebanon Elementary School. But we'll keep moving, forever forward. As long as we can.