Why the Camino de Santiago? Why 2020?
Several years ago, a very dear friend and mentor, set out to walk the Camino de Santiago in her late 60's. I was so inspired by her courage to walk alone on such an amazing adventure, and by her never failing faith that always was her guide; her journey was just beginning! She had been a very loyal, spiritual friend and support on my journey towards healing from my Anorexia. I had always been blessed by her belief in me, her faith in my ability to overcome my own struggles and her constant presence in my life.
When she came home from her first pilgrimage, she discovered her cancer. From that very first day, she put up a brave and heroic fight for a few years before succumbing to the evils of cancer on January 9th, 2013. Before she left this earth before her 70th birthday, she walked a second pilgrimage to complete her Camino, while she was battling the cancer that would take her life. One of the last times I was able to visit with my dear friend as she was disappearing before me, she told me that I, too, would walk the Camino. I looked straight into her tired and faithful eyes and agreed. This is not the first time a friend has made such an enormous death bed wish for me. I knew the powerful nature of the request and the defining meaning that would follow me. I decided it was time to finally fulfill her wish on my 50th birthday, October 2020.
I will begin my walk in the Grotto of Lourdes, France where I have ministered since 2001. Lourdes is the first pilgrimage spot I was called to by another dear friend that helped me fight for life in my Anorexia, who passed away from her own battle with cancer in 2000. While she was on pilgrimage to Lourdes searching for healing, she had a vision of me working with the sick and dying in the baths of Lourdes. It was then on her death bed she asked me to fulfill this vision. That wish and my first pilgrimage changed my life forever. I felt with these two amazing women asking this great journey of me, it felt appropriate to start in Lourdes hiking through the Pyrenees across Spain ending in Santiago de Compostela.
I am choosing to complete this walk in six weeks; walking six days with one rest day. I announced it in October of 2017. I would like to invite anyone who is interested in joining me at any point along 'the way' for any length of the pilgrimage. It is a commitment one needs to train towards, save financially and ultimately plan to be away. I will start in September and will finish on my 50th birthday, October 23, 2020. You will find some resources, information and movies to better understand this pilgrimage, below. You will know right away if you are called to walk with me. It is a very personal decision, not one to be taken lightly. Take your time to consider....Buen Camino