The video below is of my Mom and her two brothers and sister playing at Stone Mountain back in the 1950’s. Mom grew up going to Stone Mountain, Dad proposed to her at Stone Mountain and on December 30, 2016, Mom climbed Stone Mountain for the 300th time in 2016 alone.
(Thanks to Nostalgic Media for recently helping us convert all of Mom’s families old home videos to disk and USB! They provided this video to WSB-TV to share along with the article.)
That day, we got up bright and early and headed across town to make the hike with her. We shared about in via Facebook, word of mouth and Instagram and had friends and family from all over join us to climb. Those that couldnt be there cheered her on from afar and with one day left in the year, Mom summited the mountain with us by her side.
What most people don’t know is that Mom is almost 67 years young and has osteo-arthritis – a degenerative bone and joint disease. On top of that and her daily aches and pains, with each step she takes, the arches in her feet completely collapse. If you see her walking around the house, its rarely barefooted as she needs the support of an arch to even step.
Given her physical ailments, complaining, whining and giving up would be the natural thing to do. Instead, Mom keeps moving. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other.
Baby steps, slow hikes, patience, persistence and friends encouragement spurs her along and she keeps plugging away. She mixes in swimming and weight lifting too with her climbs, but the main thing is that she keeps moving and never gives up.
No one I’ve ever met has her determination and fortitude and if someday I can be half of her, I’ll be doing well. Proud of you, Mom!
When we told the kids what we were doing, they asked if they could dress up in Superhero attire – and they wanted me to tell Gigi to wear her SuperGigi outfit too! Seemed fitting for the day, and along with looking cute, they had a blast “flying up the mountain.”
As for my sentiments about the day, first of all, my Mom is amazing. Second of all, my Mom is amazing and third of all, Mom is amazing. Amazing about sums it up!
Other thoughts, still are along the lines of what I posted that day via social media::
“I have thought about this since yesterday morning when over 30 people just “showed up” at @stonemountainpark to make the 300th climb ? of 2016 with my mom. Some of these people Mom knew, some she didn’t. Some were in shape and some the hike would be a stretch for. Some worked out often and some hate working out and were just there for moral support. Some people (@lularoesherriandchrista, Harry, Ann, Dot and more drove from clear across town -some an hour or more!) and all came just to be there for someone else. Friends who couldn’t come sent messages, texts and calls with words of encouragement. Along the lines of just showing up, if @margiebowen hadn’t just kept “showing up” this monumental (haha – #punny Stone Mountain joke!) goal would not have been accomplished.
In 2017, let’s show up, okay?! In 2017, let’s encourage one another daily. Whether it’s a goal, challenge, trial or even your daily happenings, just keep showing up. If you see someone who needs cheering on, celebrating, support or someone just to walk thru life with, just show up. Doesn’t matter if you are good, bad, perfect, have it all together or are falling apart yourself, just be there. These friends who took the time out of their day to come and “show up” were huge in cheering on and celebrating my Mom’s goal. And not only that, but your love for others has impacted me greatly. I’ve thought of you, prayed for you and been thankful for you all for the past 24 hours. The joy you have done you have done in my heart, you’ll never know!
As we launch into 2017, I want to keep showing up. When I don’t have time, don’t have the words or don’t feel adequate, I want to be available. Love and blessing to each of you, and y’all keep showing up!! 2017 is going to be a great year. ????”
So yes, we capped off the year with friends and family being encouragements for one another, loving each other and cheering each other along to achieve their personal goals. Praying that in 2017, we can do that and more.
WSB-TV wrote an article and then the AJC and a site in North Carolina all picked up the story. Thanks so much to them for sharing it as its one of those feel good stories that just gives you the warm fuzzies. We need more of that these days, right!?
Speaking of warm fuzzies and being loving, Brother walked up the mountain behind or next to Gigi so that “he could catch her if she falled.”
He is the sweetest thing with the biggest heart and his love for others makes my heart full. My prayer is that Jesus continues to grow this spirit with in him, and I think He is as I keep hearing story after story of chivalrous things that my little man does. So thankful for them all.
People keep asking two questions. If my kids can climb the mountain on their own and what is Mom’s goal for 2017.
In regards to my kids (and if yours would be able to do it) Annie M and Brother (six and four years old) hiked the whole way up and down on their own. Moose (almost three) did most of the way up, FROZE due to the wind at the top and was tired and carried lots going down. I wore Chappy and after a few pictures at the top, I hoofed it back down as he was chilly and needed to be nursed. So yes, age four and up (and probably some three year olds) can do most, if not all of the hike on their own.
As for Mom? She is close to hitting 1,000 climbs since she started this whole journey. Who knew a few years back when she started climbing for fun that it would turn into this. She is probably 125 ish hikes away from that goal and so it is an attainable one with the next 340 days ahead to achieve it. So for her, the next milestone will be climb 1,000.
Love you Mama and so proud of you! We are already training here for climb #1,000!
And by the way? I had NO clue that Dad proposed to Mom at Stone Mountain…good thing the news did that write up! Learn something new every day! 😉