By Martha Holmes
My husband and I usually spent the month of February camping in Florida’s beautiful state parks. My husband did not like Maryland’s sometimes-bitter winters. We owned a tiny Kodiak Hybrid camper which was “just right” for us. On one such trip, in 2016, my husband fell ill and was hospitalized. We were near the end of our campsite reservation and there were no available sites in the park after that. (Reservations must be made 11 months in advance, as the parks fill up fast.)
I found a site for a few days in a local KOA and moved our camper there. I explained my situation to the manager and she agreed to try to find me another site for a day or so. She told my story to a few of the regular campers who were visiting from Canada and our northern states. They convinced her to open a site that had been previously closed because it was too small to accommodate most RVs. These kind people even moved my camper for me, as I was at the hospital with my husband, who was failing.
On March 15, my husband passed away. I went back to our camper and made arrangements for his remains, contacted our families, wrote his obituary and took care of many other details. I decided to wait in Florida so I could carry his ashes home with me.
In the following two weeks, I never had a day without at least one visit from a fellow camper. Sometimes they just came to sit for a few minutes. They never intruded; they simply supported me.
When it was finally time to leave, they hooked me up, washed all the windows in my tow vehicle, hugged me, and sent me on my way with their good wishes.
Because of their kind support, I felt strong enough to make the sad trip back to Maryland alone. I will never forget their kindness.
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