Three years ago BigSis3 sent me a message to invite me to go on a walk she helped organize on our reservation. It was a 17 mile walk was around the bay we grew up on and was organized to help raise awareness about water. I couldn’t go. I just started my new job and didn’t have enough time built up to go to something I found out about last-minute.
The following year she messaged again. I really wanted to go but, again, I just didn’t have the time to take off in the middle of the week. I recalled snipping at her, “Why in the world would you schedule it on a Wednesday? It’s hard for people who work & are required to travel to attend.”
She never explained why.
Nevertheless, I recall being incredibly proud of her both years. My sister with her wore-down “needing a kidney transplant” body participated in the walk. I believe she was strictly a volunteer the 2nd year. She helped the walkers, keeping them hydrated and tending to other needs.
We lost her the following spring.
About a month later, I got a message from her best friend telling me that they were naming the walk in her honor. I broke down. I knew the date, I had time built up. I swore I would be there. Information about the walk was posted a few days beforehand. After reading through the protocols I found out I couldn’t attend. I had a double whammy. I was devastated. The day of the event was spent choking back tears at work as updates were posted.
One whammy is preventable but the other is not. Armed with the rules, I was able to plan ahead so I can attend this year. I have time off banked and travel arrangements are made. Mother Nature is the only thing that can stop me from going. I pray she is merciful.
None of her siblings have ever attended the walk or volunteered. The thought breaks my heart because we all knew what it meant to her. While I try not to live my life with regrets, not attending while I could be there with her is something that will stay with me my entire life.