Six years ago, a clown walked into the room. No jokes, no trickery, not even a hint of a smile. Instead, there stood, behind the exaggerated footwear and the red nose, my dad’s physician. He was there to turn off the breathing tubes and machines keeping my once brawny figured father alive. A few hours past midnight on Halloween, my dad took his final breath and I said goodbye.
By the time of the climb, I will have married a man who will never know my father. I will have walked down the aisle without my father’s hand giving me away. He will not be present for the day when I have children of my own. Sadly, they will miss out on his jokes, his mispronunciation of words, and the support he’s given to me since my birth. Lung cancer did not and does not care for my memories and my future hopes.
Hope is what I am endeavoring for. To one day, extending the time we have with our loved ones. To one day, that a girl like me could have her dad beside her, to walk her down the aisle.
Climbing Mt. Rainier would fulfill for me a statement that I made to my father when I was just a little girl: that one day I would climb the big mountain behind our own backyard. Thank you for reading my story, and I hope together we can fight lung disease!