I started writing this story in 2005 and a little more in 2007. I wrote notes about my impressions of things as Cheryl and I took my mom and dad on a vacation trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Looking back through the distance of fifteen years is not as difficult as I thought it might be. As I read my old notes – I am a terrible journal writer – I can see the inside of the condo we rented in N. Myrtle Beach, my new Dodge Intrepid, the IHOP near Mom’s house, Dad’s brown pajamas, both of them in the back seat of my car, lots of images.
My notes are not so much a chronology of the trip as they are notes and impressions of conversations with my father, conversations with the person I chose to be with for the rest of my life and thoughts about the situation as it unfolded.
I now spend most of my waking day and much of the night as caregiver to my wife of fifty years who is dealing with Parkinson’s disease. In some ways this trip was training for my role as caregiver. I didn’t know it at the time. Also at about this time 2004 to 2005 Cheryl first presented early symptoms of PD. We merely did not know the diagnosis then.