At the top of Gros Morne Mountain, Sherree-Lin Davis was able to cross one more thing off her daughter Alyssa Davis’s bucket list.
Alyssa was about 13 when she started the list that included wanting to go see Justin Bierber, swimming at Manuels River, picnics, blowing bubbles with her friends, going to Cape Spear and to the beach.
It also included hiking Gros Morne and the Great Wall of China.
Gros Morne became a quest after Alyssa completed the gold hike for the Duke of Edinburgh program. She had planned to do it the summer of 2016, but never got to.
The 17-year-old died as the result of a car accident on Dec. 23, 2015. She was a passenger in a car that was driving at excessive speeds in a chase with another vehicle on the Conception Bay South Highway.
From her home in Kelligrews, Sherree-Lin said they always talked about the things Alyssa wanted to do and that they wanted to do together.
Sherree-Lin said she found the bucket list while going through things in Alyssa’s room. There is also a list that her friends have, but that’s something Sherree-Lin said is just between them.
Sherree-Lin has also wanted to hike Gros Morne, but didn’t think it would happen. Less than two weeks ago she put the idea out through social media and in no time the trip was planned.
A friend, Louise Butler, offered to go with her and do the driving and another friend was able to find them a place to stay. They left home last Friday and made the climb on Saturday.
“We survived,” she said laughing. “We didn’t think we were going to.”
Sherree-Lin has fibromyalgia, is a cancer survivor and was also in a car accident.
“It was the most brutal, exhausting mentally and physically thing I have ever done in my life,” she said.
Asked what helped get her up that mountain, she responds simply: “Alyssa.”
She said Alyssa did the 60-kilometre Duke of Edinburgh hike with torn ligaments in her knee, bad shoulders and a bad hip while carrying an 80-pound backpack.
So, Sherree-Lin was determined to make it up Gros Morne.
“I had to do it for her,” she said.
“We cried a lot of the way up. And when we got to the top we cried.”
They were met at the top by a cheering group from Ontario who had passed them on the trail.
As soon as they got to the top it started to pour and they stayed for about 10 minutes before starting the trek down.
During the short time at the top of the mountain Sherree-Lin felt Alyssa was with her and was sure she’d have something to say about the adventure.
“First she would tell me I’m crazy and then I know she’d be there with the biggest hug and be my biggest supporter. Yeah, she’d be very proud,” she said while fighting back tears.
“I had to do it.
“Those are the things that she wanted that she can’t do, so I have to try to make sure that all those are done so that she’s completed.
“Never let anybody forget, especially the people who are responsible.”
A teenage friend driving the car Alyssa was in was charged with dangerous driving causing death and sentenced to two years of probation in January 2017.
A second teen girl, the driver of the other car, was charged with dangerous driving and granted an absolute discharge in December 2016.
With the Gros Morne hike complete, Sherree-Lin will continue to cross the items off Alyssa’s bucket list.
Completing the bucket list and helping others through the Sunshine Squad Sprinkling Sunshine Everywhere group started in Alyssa’s honour helps her confront the darkness that has become a part of her life.
“I always say it brings a light into the darkness.”