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A life changing climb on Kilimanjaro

“Mom, if Martina Navratilova can’t do it, you can’t do it.” My child’s words echoed in my head as I took my first cortisone-laced footsteps along the Western Breach approach to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Indeed, the then-54, very fit tennis superstar was air lifted off this very mountain with fluid in her lungs. So, what the hell was I trying to prove? I’d been determined to conquer Africa’s highest peak (19,341 feet) ever since a cheating ex-boyfriend failed to do so a few years back. I’d show him. That first attempt was sidelined before it began when my hockey player son broke his hip and returned home to convalesce. Stacked odds kept piling on. The day before this departure, the beautiful man who helped shape my child’s life died from heart complications. Bob Smye’s heart was just too big, and too full. “You have to cancel your trip,”

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