Perhaps the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.
Even though the windchill is in the teens. Even though the guy in front of me is spilling beer over his head. Even though my leg is on crooked.
Even with all the "what ifs" and "should have beens" along this journey, I'm exactly where I belong.
Here. Standing with friends on the sloping sidewalk of Delaware Avenue. As fireworks burst overhead, we talk and laugh and hug and kiss...
|(...well, some of us kiss!)|
We're ringing in 2014. TOGETHER!
|In case you missed it,|
the Word of the Year is
When the year draws to a close, people always write lists: Best of 2013, Worst of 2013, Movies of the Year, Artists of the Year, Words of the Year...
I thought about writing my own list to share highlights of 2013, but there were just too many!
2013 was a year without surgery. It was a year of walking and climbing and hiking. A year of swimming and biking and skating.
It was a year of rediscovering mountains, water, and snow.
A year of travel to Chicago, Florida, Vermont, and New York. A year of making history.
There were lots of adventures, to be sure. But when I look back, what I see most are the FRIENDS who came along for the ride.
|As kids, we were cousins;|
as adults, we're friends :)
As I near Mile Marker 1500, Tracy visits Philly. She's a runner, a cyclist, and an energetic walking partner.
In the days after Christmas, Tray and I zigzag the holiday streets, searching out the best window shopping. We go rock climbing and then grab lunch at Pizza Brain in Fishtown.
Eventually we find a routine. Tray runs through South Philly while I work out at the rehab gym. That's when I truly cross Mile Marker 1500 -- on the treadmill.
But better yet, that's when Tracy gets to meet my workout friends!
|Beth toasts the New Year|
|Yes, Jeff is AWESOME|
(click to read his shirt)
Tray even gets a taste of rehab herself!
Friendship is a theme of the year, but it's not new on this journey...
The quote at the top of this post -- in case you're wondering -- is by a doctor and professor at U.C.S.F. School of Medicine. For more than 20 years, Rachel Naomi Remen has been teaching the HUMANISTIC side of medicine. Coincidence? I don't think so.
As I learned more about Dr. Remen's philosophy, it got me thinking about the doctors, nurses, and therapists who, through a thousand small gestures, have become more than just professionals. They've become FRIENDS, supporting me in all that I do.
Whether I skate...
Like good friends, they FORTIFY me. Always in the nick of time. Always moving me forward. Always with CARE.
But this year is different. The road finally goes both ways.
I go back to the hospital to visit one of Dr. J's current patients, a brand new amputee. I talk to a class of first-year med students. I volunteer at the inpatient rehab hospital. I loan my bike to PT Deb so she can teach another patient to ride.
Really, there's no limit to friendship. The impact goes on and on.
So I'm calling 2013 YEAR OF THE FRIEND.
Old friends came together to celebrate.
Together we WALKED ON
Thanks to all who walked with me!