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.
GETTING MOM TO THE BEACH – the full story.
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.
Cousin, I read your story about getting snookered into a Myrtle Beach Trip with great delight. I too got snookered around the same time period, perhaps just a few years earlier. I was sitting in my parents living room when my Dad said, “So you do a lot of flying. What do you use those miles for?” Then he went on to tell me that our old neighbors and friends of over thirty years to them were taking a European vacation with them. Their daughter was using her miles to upgrade them to business class, and “It sure would be nice if we could sit in the same section as them.” Yep, I used some miles to send them to Europe in business class. It was better that my Dad asked, because I would have strung my Mom on for an hour, because that’s how we sparred. I often think of Uncle Bob and Aunt Bubbles and never missed a chance to visit them when I was in Cincinnati. I would visit your Mom on Montgomery (?) road before I road the bike trail along the Miami River. I always thought our Dads had a very special relationship, even when the sisters (especially my Mom) were pissed at each other. Bob/Tom
Dad and I had a lot of funny little conversations. The night Mom actually walked on the sand I remember being really ticked off at her… because Dad let me in on the secret.