The Last Day

I have only one more day on the Camino.  By making the decision to shorten my route by going to Saria I’m now almost finished.  It turned out to be a good decision since my right knee might only hold out one more day.  Today I was at the 20 km mark and decided to make it home in 2 days.  So I sent my backpack (Muchilla) on to the 14,7 km so I could finish with a shorter day.  Well the Lord kept throwing in long climbs and longer decents and I was getting discouraged.  Of course he would send a messager to encourage me.  One was an engineer from Ireland that slowed down to my pace and we talked and walked for at least 2 mi.  It made the time and pain go by.  When he left me I had covered over 6 miles and I was temped to take taxi to my hotel.  But no I kept going and expected God to make the path level and gentle.  Nope right away the road shot up and I slowly climbed thinking (I get it you are going to take me up this mountain only to face another deep descent).  Yep he did, and I keep going but ever so slowly.  Now I checked and it was getting on to 3:30 pm and no place to even call a cab.  I saw the main highway a little off the route so I headed there only to find all stores and even the cafe closed for siesta.  I trusted he would take care of my needs but how, my immediate need was to get off this knee so I can walk tomorrow.  Then I saw the Albergue and went in and after much translation was able to communicate I need to catch up to my machilla.  They called a taxi for me to finish the last mile.  I know that I gave it my all and was humble enough to take the help I needed or would have lost several days mending my knee.

Once I am done tomorrow I will get my certificate in Latin look around the Church, hug St James statue, and then find the bus terminal.  I am happy to compliant this journey but recognize its not the end.  I need to continue to learn life changing lesson at home.  I also miss my wife, family, friends and my car.  I hope I don’t bore you with my stories, can you imagine I had dinner alone with a Bishop from Illinois.  We had a great converstion that I will share if you are buying the cafe con Leche.  Before I came here I thought of visiting Finestere from the movie, “The Way”.  But now I want just to go home, where I can chose to walk or not.  I guess I’m just tired out.   Say a prayer that my knee holds out so I can finish.  No taxi into Santiago. I’m sure I made that mile up when I got lost and had to take a short cut in the deep woods.  That story will cost more than a McDonalds coffee, may be at least Panera Bread $4 coffee.

For all of you that supported my quest I want you to celebrate with me when I get to the Church.  I could not have made it without your words of encouragement.  You will recognize me in the pic, I’m the one that looks like Ernest Heamingway.   Until tomorrow, I’d better get to bed I want to start early.  Hate to show up to mass late!

Buen Camino


6 thoughts on “The Last Day”

  1. I’m having my cafe con Leche a roll and my fresh oj before I start my last 3 mi walk. I will post a picture of me at the front of the church of St James with my arms open to express that all of you my family, friends and supporters are finishing this special joirney with me. I could not have made it with out your prayers, and encouragement.
    Buen Camino
    Pilgrim Frank

  2. Congrats, Frank! I am sure that now you look at life a little different. just think of all the apostles went thru to get Jesus’ word out there. Your journey was the same. Your journey with all the pain has made each of us think about what God has given us. Sometimes we or someone who love has to suffer a little to make us stop and think of what it means to get His word out there. God bless you and guide your las steps of this incredible journey. I’ll buy McDonald’s coffee next Monday. ( by the way it is not free on Mondays any more). See you soon.

  3. Oh my gosh, Frank. I can hardly believe that you are almost there. What a trip! Pilgrimage! Distance! Life Journey!

    A priest once told me, “Carol, the longest journey you will ever make is eleven inches! The distance from your head to your heart.” These were wise words.

    So your journey will never end! At least your knees will stay in shape during the eleven-inch journey!

    Christmas Carol from Canton

  4. I think I’ll stick to my walks to church and around the parking lot. I’m sure the hills you are encountering make the Edward Hines park in Northville a piece of cake.
    A word of advice: at St. James church beware of the incense container they swing back and forth after Mass. You DO NOT want to be sitting in the wings!

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