It’s been an emotional week as we remember Ranger Margaret Anderson, the ranger who was shot and killed by a gunman in Mount Rainier National Park. National Park Service employees are a family. And they all feel the tragedy.
Today is January 8, the day last year that Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot and seriously wounded in Tucson, AZ. And though she’s made a tremendous recovery, she has a long way to go. Will she ever be able to run for Congress again? I wrote about my personal connection with January 8 last year and I’m not going to do that again.
So today, I went on the regular Carolina Mountain Club Sunday hike. I expected rain and icicles on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I didn’t expect the leader, Mary Beth, to distribute flowers throughout the hike.
Mary Beth had scouted the hike on Friday. At that time, she had tied pink flagging tape around trees. She did that on maybe 10 trees.
Today, she brought a bouquet of roses and greens. As we reached each tree with a piece of pink tape, Mary Beth stuck a flower in it. What was this all about?
Mary Beth explained that she had taken care of a friend who had just died. She was part of a Hospice team at this woman’s home. Mary Beth was understandably still very emotional about the experience. It had been very difficult but it was the right thing to do. So this was a memorial for her friend – on January 8.
And for those who worry about those pink ribbons? She’s leading the same hike on Wednesday and will then take them all down.