What a lovely event this is!!! The atmosphere and people who line the streets along the way and your walking companions really pull you through and of course the added incentive if you have someone you are walking in memory of.
My Mum died in the Hospice nearly 2 years ago and I really can't express in words what a wonderful place it is (I know you can't believe that with how "gobby" I can be normally!!!!) and just how comforted she felt to be moved to the Hospice where she felt like she was coming home after a couple of nights in the local NHS hospital . She had visited the Hospice many times previously and had also spent time there for them to sort one or two problems out as well.
Though my father in law didn't die in the Hospice he also spent time there before he died where they did all they could to address his pain so I had very good reasons for wanting to do this walk and so pleased I managed it!
What the staff at the Hospice have is time..... time for the patient, time for the relatives, they offer such a caring, supportive environment and nothing is too much trouble. There is such a lot of palliative care ranging from reiki and aromatherapy to the gentle counselling the staff offer both to the patient and relatives.
I stayed with my Mum the last few nights and a room was also made available for my Dad on the night she died, so that he wouldn't have to make a mad dash from home if anything happened. I think a lot of nursing staff have a special vocation but those we met in the Hospice do seem to have an extra dose of compassion, I expect they need it as they so often have to deal with such tragic cases but what I am so grateful for is the gentleness and understanding they offered my Mum and my Father in law and the rest of the family during what were pretty horrible times.
I was quite nervous about the walk, 8.2 miles so not too far but I, probably like 99% of the population, don't do that sort of walking on a regular basis... in fact probably never do, I had a trial run last Monday when I walked to my son's house. Admittedly I walked at a fair pace but I could more easily tell you what didn't ache in my body rather than what did!!! Took me 40 minutes to get there and he sort of smiled benevolently at me and asked was I sure I didn't want a lift home.... well yes I did but wasn't going to tell him that so walked another 35 minutes home and was really concerned as that was only just over half of my journey last night!!!
Anyway I needn't have worried, having taken anti inflammatories and pain killers for the previous 24 hours, I managed the walk no problem in 21/2 hours and apart from having two very large blisters on the balls of my feet and being a bit achy am still in one piece and want to say a big thank you to Tarryn and Amy who kept me going, kept the pace at my level, and made the whole thing a very enjoyable experience. Thank you girls!!!