My entry today is going to be a little more somber than usual. There’s also no easy way to segue into it, so I’m just going to jump in with both feet.
We age, and, eventually, we will die.
There is no fact of the human condition that is truer than this. Yes, it’s a bummer. No, it’s not something we like to dwell on. But it is as immutable for us as the rising and setting of the sun.
This was my friend and fellow cacher, hello-pittie. A fellow completer of the Texas County Challenge, the only thing she loved more than geocaching was helping animals. Indeed, her travels for the sake of animal rescue probably helped bump up the thirty-one states she cached in. She passed away earlier this week because of complications from a stroke. She was a warm, lovely person, and she will be missed by many other cachers here in Texas, myself not least among them.
Why am I writing about this, though? Because since the beginning of 2022, she and two other well-respected and accomplished cachers have died. Last year, the matriarch of a caching family died. I didn’t know her well, but I went to an event in her honor, and cachers showed up from all over South and Central Texas. A few days ago, another well-known cacher fell off a ladder and ended up going into the hospital. He seems to have survived without permanent damage (as far as I know, so fingers are still crossed), but recuperation will be complicated by his age.
It’s not a happy thought, but cachers get older. Someone who started at the beginning at the age of 40 is 61 or 62 now. How many of us know some older cachers who have great stories from the post-retirement trips they’ve been able to take? Have you seen them much since Covid started? Have you seen any of your caching buddies? Some of you probably have, some of you probably haven’t. So, do me a favor: check in on them. See how they’re doing these days. Whether they’re older or younger doesn’t even matter. I’m not that old, but if things had been a little different, I could have bought the proverbial farm on the road to Coleman a couple of years ago.
Reach out. You’ll be glad you did.
Rest in peace, Debbie. We loved you.