“I’m back”…let me tell you why these two little words mean so much.

We’ve walked the canal together for many years.

Our footsteps have pounded dirt up and down the C & O Canal between Great Falls, on the Maryland side and the new and improved Marsden Bridge.  It’s been our turnaround land mark for as long as I can remember.  We give the dog a long, drink of water on that bridge.  We look for wayward turtles there, and have watched winter pick-up hockey games take place on the frozen canal just a few feet away, in the dead of winter

It’s our ‘go-to’ spot.

But we haven’t been walking to our bridge for many months now because of a breast cancer diagnosis that altered our course back in the Fall of 2016.  My friend Carol had no choice but to slow down and I can tell you that is not an easy assignment for someone as active and physically fit as this woman.

We really never stopped walking, but we shortened our treks and we slowed our pace.  When treatment used up most days on the calendar, I could tell by the time the weekend came around, fatigue had worked its way into Carol’s footsteps, but I never mentioned it.  Instead, we’d walk the path, catch up on current events  and talk some cancer talk too.  She was living in cancer world and I’ve had an address there for years, so it gave her a chance to ask about some things I had in my cancer tool box from long ago.

When treatment ended just a few weeks ago, I could tell she was anxious to reach for the bridge once again, but the body wasn’t quite up to it, yet.  Instead, we got back to our old pace.  We trimmed minutes off our walk.

Then yesterday, with no horns or streamers, just good conversation, we passed our old turnaround spot and kept right on walking.  I recognized that we were heading for the bridge, but never said a word.  Instead, she said it all…

“I’m back”

That bridge never looked so good.

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