7 years ago I arrived at the Cruz de Ferro with my mother-in-law’s ashes, two little silk flowers that mysteriously landed in front of my parents’ graves during a visit, and a rock dedicated to my “adopted” second dad, my best friend’s father.
This time, arriving by car as I was heading to Sarria to finish my special Camino journey in honour of my sister Denise, my visit was quite different from my first time.
A few days earlier while at my dear friend’s albergue (lodging and eating hostal for pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain) I tried to find a way to honour those beautiful souls who had passed away.
I decided to paint their names on small rocks that I planned on leaving at the cross. At this time I would like to tell you a bit more about those special people.
Papa & Maman – My parents. My Dad passed away when I was only 9 years old (47 years ago) and not one day goes by that he is not in my mind and my heart. My Mom passed away 18 years ago and both of them had a great impact on my life.
Paul Robert – Paul was our first brother, born second in our family. He passed away at 18 months and somehow he periodically appears in my dreams. Our younger brother Paul carries his name in his honour ( a tradition of millions of families who lost earlier family members).
Denise – the oldest in outr family. She passed away 4 years ago and my current Camino is for her.
Michel – my nephew.
Marjorie – my mother-in-law who instilled beautiful holiday traditions in our family.
Louis – The father of my best friend who treated me like one of his daughters. He became my second dad.
Remi – the brother of a very close friend
Chetan – a coworker and close friend who greatly contributed to my strong appreciation for everything India.
As well, I have with me on the continuation of this special Camino ashes of my sister Denise. Denise really appreciated my various Camino photos of poppies, therefore I named this Camino “The Way of the Poppies”.
Spending time at this humble and often revered monument gave me a tangible way to focus on the impacts that these beautiful people had on my life. As I prepare to walk the final 117 km of this Camino I already feel engulfed in the spiritual and emotional components of this journey.
I feel protected and guided by those who are no longer in our physical world but for me, strongly present in other dimensions.
I look forward to taking my first steps tomorrow morning ending at the beautiful cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
I know this will be a “Buen Camino”