Back at Refugio Cinque Torri, we ran into Tully, her husband Rob and their hiking companion, Judy. Friends of Andrea, Tully used to guide for Andrea (Distant Journeys),
and Judy had worked with her for many years in Outward Bound.
Judy was in her fifties, I'd guess.
She was friendly, but kind of pushy.
Andrea was not too fond of her, but loved Tully and Rob.
It was common for Tully, Rob and Judy to travel and trek together.
Judy loved to take lots of photos on her little camera and it was not unusual for her to be about an hour behind Tully and Rob on the trail.
It was Judy who talked me into taking a shower at Tissi.
I was cold and hovering around the wood stove when she insisted I take a hot shower.
I had been debating with myself, whether or not to shower as I knew I'd have wet hair for the evening.
No hair dryers in my backpack!
After listening to Judy and talking to Roberta, who had assured me her shower was HOT and lovely, I gave in.
The water was tepid.
That night after dinner, I watched as Judy played with the 4 year old little blonde haired girl who lived with her mother at Tissi.
Judy got down on the floor on her hands and knees and pretended to be a bear chasing her.
Claudia, I think her name was, would squeal and run away.
Then slowly sneak back for more.
It was sweet.
I found out later, Judy was an "on-call" nanny on the east coast where she lived.
At Cinque Torri, she had proudly showed us some of her photos.
"I saw a love bug today!" she exclaimed.
Curious, we of course asked to see the picture.
It was a close up of a cute little beetle, not unlike a lady bug, only this one was black with a perfectly shaped lime-green heart on it's back!
When we awoke to snow on Tissi, Judy was just as excited as the rest of us, running outside to take numerous photos.
She and Tully and Rob were not ready to leave Tissi when we were.
They were going farther on than us that day, planning to stay at a hut about an hour past our hut, Cartestiato.
From there, they were taking a different trail than we were.
As I headed out of Tissi and down the trail, Judy peaked her head out of the window.
Joy filled her face as she shouted her good-bye to us.
I stopped and snapped a picture.
Time seemed to stop...
I remember pausing, taking it all in.
Then I waved and shouted my good-bye to Judy.
I remember thinking, "Just love her, April. And accept her for who she is."
When we arrived at Cartestiato, Rob came in briefly for a cappuccino.
Judy and Tully were waiting outside.
All three of them were tired and anxious to get to their refuge for the night.
The next day we hiked to Rifugio Pramperet, which I will write about on my next post,
Unbeknownst to us, on the day we left Pramperet, Judy, who was on a steep trail about an hour behind Tully and Rob, fell to her death.
She died instantly of head injuries.
The two brothers, hiking from Munich to Venice found her.
One stayed with her body while the other ran back to the refuge to alert authorities.
Her body was airlifted off of the mountain, while someone hiked on to the next hut to tell Tully and Rob of Judy's death.
They had been waiting there for her arrival.
I didn't know what had transpired until after I arrived home from Italy.
Andrea called to let me know.
She had just attended Judy's funeral.
Life is precious.
Love others even if they are a little pushy.
Soak up every moment.
I didn't really know Judy, but I will never forget her.