Meet my personal crew for the walk: Leroy, my husband; Lauren Graf, my friend and girlfriend of James; and my son, James. I was the envy of all the walkers I know -- these three showed up not just at opening or closing ceremonies, but every day, often at lunch time or at pit stops, offering comfort and cheers.
Leroy is complex. I'm sure it's not the Harley Davidson motorcycle alone that makes him such a compelling figure. He's a UW English and Comparative Literature professor, who also writes music, carpenters, welds, builds hydraulic lifts, and performs in musical ensembles. He is a renaissance man, who has always supported me in anything I wanted to do.
James and Lauren finished an intensive French course this summer at the UW and flew to Paris for a few weeks to practice upon the natives. They came back the day I started walking, and were there shooting photographs and posting to my blog in real time. They were there at and after closing ceremonies, to take care of me and transition me back to the regular world.
James graduated from Evergreen with an emphasis in literature. Lauren is just finishing at the UW and will probably have both double degrees and a double minor. They are extraordinary people, who will soon begin applying for graduate school.
I am a fortunate woman for many reasons -- my health, the kind of work I do and the interests I have, the impact I can have upon the world. None of that would be relevant or important at all without the support from my family. They mean everything to me.