Day 54, Aug 22, Carbondale, IL.
Late to get to this update today as I lie in bed now. I’m wearing down and today felt harder than I think it should have. I’ll see what happens tomorrow, but we should take a day off sometime soon as it’s been 15 straight days of riding since leaving Salida, CO. This was balanced out today by TWO landmarks: crossing into Illinois, our 7th state, and riding over the Mississippi River. That felt really big. Bigger emotionally than crossing the Rockies for me, which was the previous big transition juncture.
The Mississippi represents a major geographical dividing line for our country historically. Somehow passing over it I felt like I had the journey before the Mississippi and I now have the after. Going forward I may refer to today as “since”, as in “since the Mississippi”.
Grief and the loss of a loved one is like that. It’s a Mississippi, dividing life before and life after. It’s a “Since” event, a point in time from which everything that follows is measured. Our family’s losing Joel is like that for Ian, Reid, Layne, Beth, and me, not to mention grandparents, and extended family and spouses. “Since” for us is April 18, 2019.
Last year, 93,000 families had the same “since” moment due to substances overdoses of their loved one.
Addiction is a brain disease.
It disables sound decision-making.
It is treatable.
Community compassion and connection matter.