Next week there is a pilgrimage of sorts. A group of like-minded travelers, some of them bloggers from our own online parenting community, will come together from various countries to walk a path paved with reason. In all they will cover over 80 miles, walking an old Roman road the entire length of the border between England and Scotland. It will be a time of bonding, laughter, sweat, pints and cursing. Their tears will be over blisters and bad backs. Theirs is a journey with focus.

The men and women making this trek are doing so to raise money and awareness for the Joseph Salmon Trust.

Joseph Salmon was a happy and seemingly healthy 3-year-old little boy, no different than the two small boys sleeping down the hall from where I now sit. No different than your son or your daughter. No different than we ourselves were so many years ago.

In the words of his parents, Neil and Rachael Salmon, “Joseph was a happy, healthy three year old who loved life. He enjoyed playing with his toy trains, his cars and his pretend kitchen. He had a busy social life, with lots of friends from nursery, friends who lived nearby and his little sister. He enjoyed cooking with his mummy, going on trains and buses with his daddy, and playing outside with anyone who would join in. Joseph had a passion for books and had just started to ‘read’ them to his younger sister.

“It felt like his life was just beginning.”

Joseph died on April 1st, 2005.

He died from streptococcal pneumonia.

“It’s very rare and it took him, although suddenly, very peacefully,” said his mother. “When I went in to him in the morning it was obvious from his posture that he’d just gone into a deeper and deeper sleep and never knew anything about it. This too is what all the medical personnel associated with him told us. There are not many (if any) consolations when you lose a child, but at least he didn’t suffer. And as a parent, it’s one of the things you want most for your child isn’t it?”

The Joseph Salmon Trust has been set up in his name to help parents bereaved of a child. There are many good causes in the world and I know that times are tight, but this, my friends, is something worthwhile. This is for the love of a little boy gone and the parents that remain.

It is to help those parents that have nightmares ahead.

And therein is the focus of the journey and the reason that bad backs will be ignored and blisters limped upon. Theirs is a mission walked with heart and also for it.

They could use your help.

All expenses have been covered by the individual walkers and a few generous sponsors. Any donation you make will go directly into the trust.

If you would like to support the charity then please contact Dan Hughes at All That Comes With It and/or the Hadrian’s Walk website.