Walking. With Abby.

360 consecutive days.  Like in a row. Morning walk @ Daybreak.

Sun rises at 5:52 a.m, twilight is ~ 50 to 60 minutes earlier. You can do the math. Early.

I’m on I-95 N.  I shift in my seat and an electric current fires from lower back, through hip, down the leg and sizzles all the way down to the toes.

I’m back in Physical Therapy.  PT, is what the cool people call it. Diagnosis? Not pulled hamstring, but lower back (again). Two weeks in, better, but far from rehabbed.

I ease out of the car, and my conversation with my new Therapist flashes back.

“Where’s Abby?”


“I was here two years ago and Abby was my therapist.”

“Oh, our Abby.” (Long Pause, and Silence)

“She died last year.” (More Silence)

“Died? She couldn’t have been 35. COVID?”

“She was 34.  Breast Cancer.  Diagnosed late. Raced through her body.”  (More silence.)

My boots are clopping in the low tide on Calf Pasture Beach as I make my way to the pier.

I stop. I need to catch my breath.  Jesus. You didn’t even know her. 


The winds gust, puffy clouds are being pushed from behind. A handful of raindrops sprinkle. The Moon appears from behind the clouds and lights up the cove. The heaviness starts to lift.

I look around. I’m alone. What is it? What is that you feel? What’s the word you’re looking for?

Ethereal.’ Lori’s word.

Between farewell and the absence of farewell,
The final mercy and the final loss,
The wind and the sudden falling of the wind. (Wallace Stevens)

Photos: DK @ Daybreak. 5:09 to 5:23 am, April 30, 2021. 61° F. Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk, CT


  1. Oh wow… so sorry you are suffering from pain. What a shocker to learn about one so young. Isn’t it weird how we might not know someone but know of them and are still affected by their death?
    Your full year anniversary is coming up! Doesn’t matter if you run, walk, drive to get there and walk a bit less. You are still out there every morning, allowing nature to wash over you.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It is strange how the death of a stranger or almost stranger can shock and hurt. Is it a good thing to feel that hurt? A proof of our humanity? If one could feel a detached compassion, it would be better. And best of all, to look at it as life flowing, nothing permanent, nothing to grieve about. Oh for that state of wisdom, especially in these sad times!

    Hope your back recovers soon!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It´s always sad to hear of the death of one so young. It must be difficult for her coworkers to have to expalin her absence to everyone. Look after your back. Hubby suffers daily. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  4. and that in between in the hardest place to be – just as the landscape and sky show you were witnessing, everything is fluid and knowing that does not always make it easier

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m so sorry, David…for all the layers of sadness and pain and loss in this post. I hope for your healing so walking can be pleasant again.


    Liked by 2 people

  6. How to reconcile pain of all sorts? The ones that hurt the most are the ones we only see in our memory, I think. I’m sorry everything hurts today…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Mimi. I know you know what it feels to live with pain.

      “Our Memory.” Reminds me of:

      I envy you that, because my most intense memories are of events I would gladly forget. Remembering and forgetting stand side by side, they’re made of the same substance. “Forgetting is the absent brother of Remembering,” says Cees Nooteboom.

      — Semezdin Mehmedinovic, My Heart: A Novel. Celia Hawkesworth (Translator). (Catapult, March 9, 2021)

      Liked by 2 people

  7. That’s very sad, David. It’s difficult to fathom that the people who care for us are also vulnerable to suffering. One of my most profound experiences as a PT was years ago treating a cardiologist with ALS. Life is a great leveller. Gratitude when we are well. Hope you get good relief soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. In a year of so much loss, change, disruption, seemingly ‘inconsequential’ news penetrates more easily and feels so much more consequential in the big picture. Inconsequential only because our own life doesn’t change because of the news. Consequential because everything in the world changed for that one person and because for each of us, every loss feels heavier, closer to home.
    I am so very sorry for that young woman and her family, her coworkers and all those, like you, who knew her and appreciated her light in this world. And as Mimi so beautifully said, “I’m sorry everything hurts today.”
    Gentle healing DK. The sun and the moon and the stars and the clouds and the trees and the sea thank you for bearing witness to their beauty every morning. As do I for your sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. that must have been a shock to find out about Abby; that’s not the way the world is supposed to work. good luck with your PT…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aw, I’m sorry. (When I first read your title, I thought you’d named your camera “Abby.” Well.. you did indeed walk with her today.) Death rarely seems allowable but when it’s a young person — and it’s not even from the virus — it seems 100% outrageous.

    I hope your PT works quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:

    Like clockwork … amazed by you!! … “360 consecutive days. Like in a row. Morning walk @ Daybreak. Sun rises at 5:52 a.m, twilight is ~ 50 to 60 minutes earlier. You can do the math. Early.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 34! WAY too young.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Heart-breaking 🖤💔
    My sister’s (the one who died on March 20th) daughter’s husband (a doctor) fell v.ill with Covid a week ago. Still young, a wife in heavy mourning, two bright girls with mio of questions, their mum also carrying MS…. one wonders how much one person can carry…
    You too might carry too much. The body language speaks for you, cries for help and maybe changes…. Ever think of it like this?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. 360 days! WOW life has changed so much in that time with one big change in your daily habit.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Yes, it could happen at any time. A year of news like this makes one weary and longing for hope. The quote that you close with is amazing and so true. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for paying attention.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Sorry to hear about Abby. Surely it was shocking. So young! And yet none of us are promised a future in this life. And if more people knew this? Lived with their best foot forward? Ahhhh.

    Still, if Abby was with you on that walk, surely she was part of that extraordinary skyscape you captured so beautifully. Sorry, my friend. 🙏❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Sorry to hear that… She was so young!
    Hugs, David

    Liked by 1 person

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