This is where I was last week; vacationing with my family in the Bahamas. Isn't it gorgeous? I know, it's a rough life.
My mom loved to vacation. Growing up, my parents were pretty good about taking us on some sort of vacation every year. She loved visiting new places; we all did. As my siblings and I grew up and flew the coop, mom and dad started traveling more. My mom had a list of places she wanted to visit. My dream is to someday go to Italy; we talked about the prospect of someday doing a big vacation together to Europe and Italy.
Mom still talks about vacationing a lot, but her vision has narrowed. She doesn't talk about new and exciting places she wants to visit. Instead,she talks about only a few places that she has visited already. She talks about visiting her distant Aunts and Uncles in Utah, about going back East to Connecticut (where my dad spent his childhood) and especially about taking "church history" vacations. One of my mom's obsessions right now is religion (another is the past...she could talk to you about her childhood all day). She talks about religion, and her Mormon pioneer ancestors, to anyone and everyone. Lately, she's been talking to me a lot about how fun it would be to repeat a vacation her and my dad took a few years ago to Nauvoo (a historical place in our church's history). On several occassions, she has made a point to talk to me about this,
"I just wanted to ask you if you would ever want to go sometime to Nauvoo to take a vacation? It would be so fun to all go together." And then she recounts the things she did while on her first trip there.
It would be great to do a vacation there someday. But the time is ticking. We all realize, at this point, that it's only a matter of time before traveling is impossible with her. Our last trip, Easter weekend, was difficult. As each day goes by, the dream of her vacation begins to wither away.
This has been a sad reality for me. I've always enjoyed taking the kids on vacations and trips with my parents. My youngest kids are too young to even remember. I know traveling with mom is rough, but I would really like to plan just one last trip with all of her kids and grandkids, to make her dreams come true. I haven't brought this idea to light with my dad or siblings; I'm a little hesitant to because of our past experience. But maybe they will feel inspired as they read this. With the holidays just right around the corner, I think one of the best gifts we could give mom would be to take her on a family trip. Though her memory of it will soon be gone, it will live in ours forever.