Tribute To My Family
When I told my mom I would be walking the entirity of The Appalachian Trail in the spring, March 18th to be specific, she began planning a family vacation around my departure. We all loaded our luggage into the Honda Oddessy and began driving south on the morning of March 12th. The day before we left I made sure to say my goodbyes to my friends back home. I also made sure to stay up till 4 AM complusively checking Facebook and clicking through Youtube videos, fueled by beer and anxious thoughts until I passed out on the couch.
By far, the hardest goodbye was to my girlfriend. I searched the deep recesses of my mind looking for something profound to say before we parted ways, but all I could think about was how much I didn’t want to stop hugging her. And when she walked away I wanted to chase after her for one last kiss. But I didn’t, and I ended up regretting it the whole way home. Now here I am in a local bookstore in Dahlonega, Georgia, writting a blog, thinking about how this time tomorrow I’ll probably be making my way up Springer Mountain, sweating profusely. But there’s one more goodbye I’ve yet to live through, and that’s to my family.
My mom, dad, and brother; I’ve known them all my life. And my sister, I met her when I was four. I suppose that’s a pretty long time to know someone too. As it is with any family, their presence has shaped me in ways fundamental to my temperament and character, and to say I won’t miss them dearly would be a lie. But to say I don’t take them for granted would also be a lie.
But this is something that all of us do as people. When we have people in our life who’ve always been there, supporting and loving us, and who we tacitly presume will be there many years from now, we simply can’t help but take them for granted. It isn’t until we’re faced with change, that we’re forced to reflect, and hopefully cherish things we would otherwise gloss over.
My mother has always been there for me, from when she was changing my diaper to when I needed advice on how to talk to girls. Even though I’m 22 she’s still protective and still tries to pamper me and embarass me whenever she sees the opportunity. As a child I used to think my dad was the world’s strongest man, and 5’7 looked so tall then. I used to think he was smartest person that’s ever lived, always teaching me subtle things and answering my endless questions. And as it is with most boys and their fathers, he was my original hero growing up. My brother is my bestfriend, always has been and always will be. We used to build lego sets and act out storylines with with our lego men. Now we discuss our favorite movies and conjecture about potential film project for the future, while also making time to share funny stories about our interpersonal relationships with women we’ve met over the years. My sister is a shithead, but I love her. She’s the youngest in the family and it can’t be easy living with two older brothers who love to piss you off. We used to always bond while staying up late playing Resident Evil, and now we bond while picking on goofy things that mom and dad say.
I love them all. They’ll be in my thoughts all along my journey through the AT. I’ll miss them dearly, and I know they’ll provide sound inspiration for when I find it hard to carry on. Tomorrow the journey begins, one more goodbye and I’ll be on my way.
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.