As a mom, it seems natural to me that when one’s child takes off for an adventure, whatever it is, biking around the world, kayaking to Alaska, or trekking New Zealand, a mother’s concern is on high alert. Out of the ordinary travels can trigger unease, but adding long distances away from home, and a mom’s inability to be there for her child, even an adult child, increases the intensity of, “but what if?”.
Despite my lifelong propensity to worry about Brad, I have been largely free of anxiety about his NZ trek. I think of him often; travel by his side vicariously; enjoy researching the places he’s headed for; and even envy his adventure. As a result, I was somewhat unprepared for his call home the other night. Yes, there had been an accident.
Brad had hiked to Mt. Ruapehu for a one night stay. On his way back to Whakapapa Village, after a very cold night, he slipped and slid down an icy slope at a rapid speed, coming to a sudden stop on a rock outcrop. He ripped his clothing, broke both walking poles, seriously burned both arms and wrenched his already sore knee. A nasty accident with a happy spin-off. Construction workers gave him a ride back to the lodge in a helicopter.
A few hours later, and by the time he called home, he was warm, fed, doctored and healing, but very sore. He’d found a seamstress to repair his clothes and was planning to depart early the next day for a three-day canoe trip on the Whanganui River.
I’m left with questions: How is he doing on the river trip? How are his arms healing? How is his knee? Will the accident spoil his trip? In other words, is he ok?
I won’t hear from him again for at least six days.