“It’s weird I’m not going to be doing this with you, dude.”
That’s what Pa said to me an hour ago as he left me on a street corner here in Corona, California. “This is the type of thing we do as a team. It’s going to be hard not to be here with you.”
I held it together as we hugged and said our goodbyes, but when he hollered out his window, “love you dude!” as he headed off back to Arkansas, I choked up and a tear or two streamed down my cheeks.
Last summer when I told him about the idea to do this, he said, “I won’t be able to do the whole thing, but I’m damn sure seeing you off.” He made it work out where he could walk the first two days with me. That’s what he does. It’s what he’s always done.
Over the past 48 hours, we’ve trekked 37 miles together and laughed until we cried several times. It’s so hard to keep going without him, but I’m going to. Calling him dozens of times per week, undoubtedly.
I love you, dude.