How Can I Miss You if You Don’t Go Away?

False start.

Driving down from our home in Virginia to Amicalola Falls State Park takes about 9.5 hours. Six hours into the drive I got a call that put a hard stop on my hike and life before I even got to the trailhead. My Dad was really sick and likely not going to make it through the weekend. We turned around and made plans for me to fly to California the next day.  Before I got back to Virginia, I got the news he had passed.

My emotions were scattered already with the excitement and anxiety of starting the trail, leaving my family and friends, and making sure I had everything in order before I left. This news was the last thing I expected in all my planning. All the stressing over the right gear, the right start date, food choices, practicing bear hangs (because I suck at throwing a rock apparently), all of it was out the window with this.

Final say?

My Dad was not happy I was planning the hike. In fact, my parents were the only ones who had a negative reaction to my plan. So because of the timing, we laughed that he tried to get the final say and stop me from going through with it. My last conversations with him were about the trail and his questions about why I would consider doing it at all, but my reasons for wanting to do it and why I’m doing it haven’t changed, so it’s still my plan. I’m happy these talks were not heated or hostile, he just didn’t think it was a good idea and per usual told me exactly what he thought about it. 

I think I’m hilarious!

Both my husband and I being prior military and him still working in that community as a civilian, are more familiar than most with being separated for long periods of time. So my very hilarious phrase I love to tell him when he’s getting ready to leave is “how can I miss you if you don’t go away.” He loves that, I’m sure.

Having periods of time when we were apart from each other gave us the opportunity to miss one another. You don’t appreciate things while it’s part of your everyday life, it gets too routine most times. So yeah, I think time apart from anything gives you perspective and allows you to reflect on things. My funny saying obviously has a bigger impact when it comes to the loss of my Dad, but the sentiment is still the same. I will miss him.

The trail is still calling.

Yes, this is still about my attempt to complete the AT and I won’t be dumping sad sack stories on here. I thought it was import though to hear how everything could change in an instant even after you thought you planned for every eventuality. 

I’ve been home in Southern California to be with my family and help my Mom set up for her new life on her own, but I am looking forward to getting on the trail. I have my new start day set and will be out there soon.

My Aunt said it best. She reminded me that the trail gives me the perfect opportunity to reflect on him and the time we spent together and I agree and plan to do just that while I’m walking to Maine.

See you on the trail!

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?