I left to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, in memory of my beautiful guy, at the end of July. The only thing he had asked of me was to promise that I would be ok. I hoped and prayed, that the trip would allow me to prove to him and to myself that I could be ok! The trip was one of the most physically, emotionally and mentally challenging tasks I have ever undertaken! It coincided with 5 months from his death and the anniversary of his operation which changed the trajectory of our lives!
Everyday of the trip I got up early and walked and climbed, until we reached camp! When it got tough, I asked him to help me and keep me safe! In the group of 17 of us I was the only one who didn’t become sick from the altitude or from the various bugs going around camp- my guy was working overtime trying to protect me!
On summit day, as we prepared to leave camp at midnight to walk through the night and arrive at the summit in the early hours of the following morning, we were all feeling slightly anxious. I became overwhelmed by the emotion and importance that I had attached to reaching the summit. Sensing my apprehension a member of the team remarked before giving me a hug ‘there is strength in every step.’ As we walked in the dark and my body became tired and the oxygen became less I repeated the phrase to myself and again asked him to help me!
As we reached basecamp, I continued on the final journey to reach the summit. As we could see the summit approximately 200m ahead, I began to cry, my best friend held my hand and we walked to the summit together!! The perfectly blue sky which surrounded us as we sat above the clouds, is undoubtedly one of the most incredible sights I am ever likely to see.
I will forever be grateful for my love, and the time we had – if only it could have been longer! I will be forever grateful that he was with me on this journey and that he kept me safe, strong and healthy (to such an extent that the rest of the group nicknamed me ‘the beast!’). For the 1st time in the year since the terminal diagnosis and 5 months since his passing, there was a glimmer of hope in my life, and the possibility of a future! I hope that I made him proud, and that I will continue to do so!
I will continue to ask for his help and guidance- and continue to remind myself that ‘there is strength in every step!’