My mother and the Ciaspolada

My mother is a force of nature. The oldest of 4 sisters and 2 brothers and a girl who died at a very young age, she never stopped taking care of others and inspire with her energy and love not only our family but many friends.

For long time she was not able to walk due to much pain in her back and hips, but last year 2008 she proved herself top fit, with long pilgrimage walks with me and the group "Associazione Anaunie Amici del Cammino di Santiago" up to 23 km long.

She knows me deeply and knows my love for the mountains. I would be forever grateful for the immense love she poured on me when I lied in an hospital bed in Aix- en-Provence, where the car accident took place. Without her it would have been horrible to overcome the immense isolation, pain and utter disorientation that were my nagging companions for those long months away from Italy, family and friends.

I already wrote that she gave me as Christmas present a pair of red snowshoes making me so happy.
But the surprises were not over.
She was determined to participate at the annual competition of the Ciaspolada, for the first time in her life at the age of 71.
The Ciaspolada was held this year on the 4th of January (usually is on the 6th of Jan.) and it is a 8 km long trek on snow (to be exact this year it was 7.4 km) starting from the village of Romeno all the way to Fondo.
I helped her to put the ciaspole on

For so many years she saw family and friends as the Ciaspolada passes in front of her house in Fondo. She longed to be one day one of the participants. This year 2009 was finally her turn to do it. She was ready and she prepared her body for it, with long walks with the ciaspole
She was like a kid doing a thing for the first time and I had to keep quiet all my concerns, not to spoil her sense of adventure.
She is incredible and has a very determined and competitive, in a good way, spirit. She left with us and the group "Amici di Santiago" and we didn't see her anymore till the arrival in Fondo.

My beloved husband, photographer and much more, half way

She actually made it all the way on her own, although there were 6000 other people with us, but she kept her steady footstep without talking to anyone and arrived 15 minutes earlier than us.
We even meet my brother and my nephews half way where they took us over. Gladly he was the one that help mum to take off the "ciaspole" at the arrival. Her two kids helping her at the beginning and at the end.
I was proud of her success and I know she will never forget this experience.
me and my little brother ever so shy

For you mamma

May your spirit know no obstacle,
may you keep spreading your wings
till God grants you His grace.

I am so grateful
you are my beautiful mamma

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