The Walk of Life
Welcome to The Walk of Life
Many people have walked across America, some across Canada, I plan on doing bits of both. What motivates me to make the journey? I am walking for those who cannot walk for themselves. Some are still living, some have died in the prime of their life and some have just died old but early! So since I can, I shall. Walking from Whistler, British Columbia, Canada to Key West, Florida as a celebration of the lives of so many wonderful people.
In addition to the celebration of those lives I walk because I like to. Walking is a way to slow down and observe things around us. We all have to pay the rent somehow and generally that entails going to work, meeting deadlines and always being "on the clock". In my case I chose to retire from my career early and make a significant shift. I have always walked, hiked or ran as a way to slow down and see what is going on around me. In my case I plan on honoring people near and dear to me. I would also like to honor people near and dear to those of you who read this. As a bonus, I get to see a part of Canada and the United Staes of America from ground level.
The people I am honoring are first my son, Jonathan Werner, who developed juvenile diabetes at a young age. I was a young father and it was devastating to me. Thinking of my young son being so sick and needing to take insulin shots for the rest of his life was almost too much to handle. But we handled it. He adapted, we adapted and he grew into a strong, young man, a father, a firefighter and an EMT. Part of our healing journey was at the FCYD Camp UTADA in Utah. You can donate by clicking the camp name in Jonathan's honor. We learned that we can handle what life gives us and come out ahead. And so, I walk to honor his life.
My nephew, Ross Werner, the same age as Jonathan was not so fortunate. He learned he had a rare form of cancer, a germ cell choriocarcinoma, mediastinal origin. After 9 months of chemotherapy, at the age of 28, he died at his home in Seattle, leaving a young widow, his parents and sibling and others to mourn and carry on. A young man in his prime, a computer programmer, a kind person, his life ahead of him, brutally struck down by that silent killer that takes so many of all ages. He fought hard, but in the end, it was too much. There are many great organizations that raise money for cancer research, but Ross preferred to give to other organizations. He particularly liked Child's Play in Seattle. Child's Play is an organization that raises funds to help improve the lives of children in hospitals. You can read about Child's Play and donate in Ross's name by clicking on any of the words, Child's Play. In addition, another memorial to Ross was set up at Kiva Lending Team, an organization that provides micro-loans to individuals and small groups in impoverished countries. You can read about Ross's journey on his blog at http://indessed.com/cancer/
Cecil Bund, my mother's devoted husband and all-around nice guy who lived in Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada. Although I was not raised by him, he was the man, that for 28 years, brought joy into my mother's life. He loved her and she loved him. He always had a kind word for everyone. He was a handyman of the highest caliber and was always working on some project in his home, or any place he was vacationing. If he was visiting his stepchildren or his biological children, he would always fix something, remodel something or come up with ideas for a future trip. By today's standards, he was a young 73 years old, when cancer struck him down only 7 months after his step-grandson, Ross, died of cancer. One of his favorite charities was Habitat for Humanity in West Kootenay, British Columbia. You can donate in Cec's honor at http://www.habitatwk.ca/
In addition to the three aforementioned individuals there are a number of other individuals that I have known over the years that passed all too soon that I will honor as well. One of my high school colleagues Art Cancade, my best friend Richard Crouch in his forties, my great-grandfather William Arthur Taylor lost his battle at age 96. I have several friends and friends of friends who have experienced that dreaded disease first-hand and survived.
Last but certainly not least are the men and woman of our (Canadian and American) military who answered the call to serve. My great-grandfather served in WWI, my grandfather served in WWII both with the Canadian military. My brother-in-law spent some time in the Middle East under a peace-keeping mission with the Canadian military, my friend Richard Crouch with the US Navy in the Persain Gulf. Numerous other friends, relatives and fellow citizens of Canada and the US. When the call came they went - REGARDLESS of the politics - they went and in many cases died to secure and to preserve the freedoms that we all enjoy. I walk in gratitude for all those. The Folds of Honor Foundation and the Patriot Golf Day, both in Canada and the US are groups that will have my support. Click on the links in these paragraph to learn how you can support your military families when you play golf.
I will carry with me the names of all those to be honored in a medicine bag lovingly made by a very powerful and spiritual man, Rios Pacheco of the Shoshone nation. If any of you wish to have your loved ones honored by being carried with me please send me a letter with their name and their story. I would prefer that you send the letter via "snail mail" to: The Walk of Life, PO Box 1566, Ferndale, WA 98248
So I walk because I can, I walk for those who cannot walk for themselves, to celebrate life...THE WALK OF LIFE!!!