Monday, April 8, 2013
POST 1091; APRIL 07, 2013; JACKSON, NORTH CAROLINA
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It is now 5:30 am, Monday morning of April 08, 2013.
Yesterday afternoon, I walked - without a doubt my fastest ever walking speed - from the town of Jackson, North Carolina to I-95 near Roanoak Rapids, where I checked into SUPER 8 Motel for a much needed evening soaking 2 hours in a tub of hot water...enjoying the remainder of my meagre store of food - mostly gifted by parishioners of Jackson Baptist Church...then a dreamless sleep in a humongous king-size bed.
Now, somewhat refreshed, I am tackling yesterday's blog...a day which will remain for me, a most important bench-mark.
Please say HELLO to PASTOR WARREN and TAMMY.
Pastor Warren spent nearly his entire day with me yesterday. Breakfast with five of the elders...inviting me to join the Men's Bible Study, at which I did most of the talking, answering the many questions (said to be spot-on for their pre-selected subject of today's study)...attending church service, during which Warren - in the middle of his sermon - invited me to come to the altar and address his church as to why this old man is walking America.
Returning to my seat to applause, a young lady sitting in the next row was weeping.
I was at once startled at her intent gaze into my eyes...then, totally mesmerized.
Please - again - say HELLO to TAMMY MARTIN.
As Pastor Warren closed his service and all in the sanctuary had left, I sat next to Warren seated at his communication booth at the rear of the room...you, know, Bruce, I have recorded your words...as requested before hand by some members. A bit embarrassed...but also pleased, Tammy appeared, sat next to me, tears still flowing...taking my hand in hers, she remained...hands in hands for a full hour.
12 years since any close physical contact with a woman, set off long forgotten emotions.
I am not certain what was occurring, but I made no attempt to remove my hands...and, all the time looking on, Pastor Warren finally said they had a lunch engagement and had to leave.
Jackson, North Carolina Baptist Church.
Please say HELLO to BILL, Custodian of Jackson Baptist Church for many many years.
Bill and I chatted - before services - over a half hour about his life, his work, and the pride Pastor Warren has taken in his church...introducing many video and communication technologies which I witnessed being used during the service.
Stained glass window overlooking the sanctuary.
Among a number of roadside monuments during my ensuing walk from Jackson, North Carolina to MOTEL 8 at the intersection of I-95 and Highway NC 46, some 18 miles apart, is this special message of a young "colonel" leaving his mark...and his life...on the battlefield of Gettysburg during our Civil War.
Three hours later, Tammy's car pulled up in front of me as I rushed at nearly jogging speed...to once again take my hands...sharing hugs...only to inform me that those two had been driving the roads ahead looking for a suitable motel for my coming nights rest...recommending MOTEL 8.
As ever, I again experienced difficult moments of loss as Warren and Tammy got back into their car and drove away...arms waving from their open windows.
As difficult as leaving new friends has been these past three years, today has been particularly devastating...
...giving me much time for thought and remembrance as I take the next steps of the long Odyssey still before SAM AND ME.