Closing the Loop: Why the Tonto Bridge Made us Cry

Last year my husband had a pinched sciatic nerve from approximately April through September.

This five month period was one of the hardest we have experienced as a couple and a family.

Seeing someone you love in so much pain is heartbreaking.

My husband could hardly walk across the room. I helped him with his socks and shoes. Getting through a work day took every ounce of his energy.

One weekend last summer we found ourselves up in Payson and wanted to see the Tonto Natural Bridge.

It is a stunning natural bridge/cave you can walk over or hike to the bottom and go through.

When our kids saw people hiking down they immediately wanted to follow.

Kevin’s face sunk. We both knew he couldn’t do it. He was struggling to walk from bench to bench just to make it to the observation deck.

We looked over the observation deck and left. My heart broke for him. He hated being the limiting factor.

One of the many things I love about Kevin is his quiet resolve.

He doesn’t love to share his goals, he just does them.

After months of physical therapy he could finally walk and even run a bit. And then like the flip of a switch he was back.

Running, biking, hiking….all of it.

Little did I know that bridge was still on his mind.

We went to Payson again this weekend to camp and celebrate Father’s Day. I mentioned the bridge because I had a free pass.

We went there first thing Saturday.

It was an incredible hike. Beautiful, challenging, fun.

As we neared the end my daughter needed to be carried. Without hesitation my husband lifted her with one arm and resumed hiking.

That was when my first tear came.

I had a flashback to last year when he could not carry her.

Now he was hiking, carrying her, and laughing.

Kevin had closed the loop.

He had unfinished business at this trail and he quietly resolved to finish it.

As we shared a picnic he thanked us all for bringing him back. We both got emotional and overcome with gratitude for his health.

That injury taught us both a lot.

This weekend we remembered one of the lessons we learned: While we can we should.

While we have health and mobility we should use it. Everyday. We will not take it for granted again.

So proud of you, Kevin.

Happy Father’s Day.


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