Walking helps resident with grief

david megan peggy
David & Peggy Bagwell with granddaughter Megan (center) at graduation. (Photo courtesy of The Bagwell family)

By Almeda Girod
Resident Writer

When 23-year-old Megan died on November 14, 2008, her grandparents, David and Peggy Bagwell, were devastated. Megan was a recent graduate of Binghamton University (New York) preparing to enter a graduate program in teaching English as a second language. David says, “She was ready to fly.”

Megan was treated for ovarian cancer as a teen and went into remission for five years before the disease returned with a vengeance. Megan had a positive outlook on her illness, seldom dwelling on the difficulties. Even during and through periods of intense cancer treatments, she looked forward to a chance to live life fully.

David, a 15-year member of Columbia Volksmarch Club, an organization that sponsors planned walks, decided to walk 100 kilometers (62 miles) in Megan’s honor. After some twenty recorded walks and one year lapsed, he completed his goal. The walks served not only as a way to commune with nature but also a way to work through his own grief. Over one year, David walked near Riderwood and on trips out of state. He walked in his home town, North Manchester, Indiana, (population 5,000) as well as Megan’s home town, Binghamton, New York, and even in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

One of David’s best memories concerned a time when Megan accompanied him on a short walk soon after her last surgery. He adds “it was meaningful to walk the path she used to go on in a small preserve area behind the university which she attended.” David was accompanied on some later walks by his wife, Peggy, and other family members.

David began an interest in watercolors and prints after his retirement from teaching chemistry at Community College of Baltimore County. His artwork can be viewed in the rotating exhibits of the Riderwood Arts Council. He is a member of the Riderwood Bike and Wood Working clubs.

David and Peggy moved to Orchard Point nearly two years ago from Ellicott City, Maryland. They have two children and six surviving grandchildren.

David’s blog of his walks may be viewed at https://meganwalk.blogspot.com.

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