My husband Donald died in January 2001. It was very sudden and a shock to the system. We had spent years traveling to Toronto, Tennessee, and on various Caribbean Cruises. In fact we had plans to go to Hilton Head in at the end of February of that year.
I tried to find ways to fill in the time and space that was left with his absence. I started writing poetry again after many years. I submitted one of the poems to a "vanity" book. The one where your poem is picked and published in a book along with thousands of others. I was invited to attend the National Poetry Conference in Washington DC in July 2001. I decided to stretch myself and go. I would be traveling by myself for the first time. I took the train because I absolutely love train travel. We traveled the Shenandoah Valley and it was breathtaking. As I departed from the train I heard someone call my name. I look around and thought how ironic is this to travel all this way and see someone I know. A friend from work Teedie Richardson and her grandson were traveling by train to the same event. So we spent the whole time together and it was so much fun.
I was so proud of myself. I had traveled many miles from home on my own. Spent 4 days among thousands of strangers, got a blue ribbon, became closer to a co-worker I had know for years and toured a City that I have come to love.
Here is one of the poems I submitted:
Life's highway is tricky; full of pot holes and curves.
I trudge along dodging dead ends and detours.
As I make the journey, I look over my shoulder,
Just a quick glance
to make sure you're still there.
Because as I travel this long road
I often think how lonely the trip would be
Yes, this trip started a love affair with travel and stretching myself. Providing wonderful memories and happiness.
see you tomorrow