Climb every mountain…or not – One year ago, I went to Grand St. Bernard

Today will be a “good luck getting off the couch day.” Last night, InterNations successfully hosted hundreds of people at a gorgeous venue in the middle of Zürich. As usual, I was smiling and semi-suffering at the door. In spite of the chronic back pain, it’s hard to help myself. See, it’s the people that have sucked me in. I really care about a lot of them. When I ask “How was your week?” I’m listening to that answer.

But, this morning, I woke up and felt the effects of my “care and concern.”  Major back pain lighting my back and neck up like a Christmas tree. Whatever. No biggie.

Then iCalendar and Timehop popped onto my computer screen and reminded me what I was doing 12 months ago: “St. Bernard w-” (I took away his initial).

it was one year ago that I went to the Hospice of Grand St. Bernard for the first time.

That kills me more than the back pain. I was climbing a mountain a year ago and today I can barely carry a purse. I won’t be climbing a mountain any time soon, okay. I get that. So, I can cry about it and feel sorry for myself OR I can smile and pay homage to what made the Hospice of Grand St. Bernard weekend truly exceptional.

Duh. I always do the smiling thing. Here goes.

1) I snowshoe’d for the first time and 2) I climbed a mountain over 2400m for the first time.
(BTWthose things happened simultaneously, which was not easy, AND I did it in 2 1/2 hours.)

3) I visited the Valais for the first time.

4) I drank the addictive Hospice GSB tea for the first time.

5) I kept Canonical hours for the first time.

6) I attended Mass IN FRENCH for the first time.

7) I felt truly at peace for the first time in my life (it was an amazing 2 hours).

8) I had a birthday party with plastic utensils on a wooden floor for the first time.

9) I read “Swiss Watching” for the first time.

10) I stopped a man from having a commitment phobic tirade for the first time because…

11) I told him “I love you” for the first time.

12) I literally saw and heard multiple avalanches for the first time.

13) I took a car ride with complete strangers for the first time.

14) I got frostbite for the first time.

There’s something in both of my books. Emily and Daniel are on a mountain climbing when Emily loses her footing and starts to fall. He tells her to stop, plant her feet, stand up, and move forward.

That was real.

15) I learned how to stop myself from being overcome by fear for the first time.

It was an amazing retreat from this life. I’ll happily revisit it a lot today as I am clutching my heating pad and Ibuprofen.

I was winning today, last year. That means there’s hope to win again.


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