Oh, wait . . .
|Can I come too?|
Yay! I am going on vacation! This isn’t going to be any vacation, either, but a vacation of a lifetime. Both daughters graduated from college this year and have planned a trip to Europe as a celebration for years.
Hubby and I are tagging along (partly due to a generous gift from Other Brother and partly because I’m having a difficult time coming to terms with the girls growing up!). Yes, I plan to follow them around wherever they go throughout their life (shhh, don’t tell them my plan!).
The vacation looks a little different for all of us (they left before we did and one daughter and her boyfriend are staying longer than the rest of us) but we meet up in Rome and will all be together for a few days touring the sites and drinking some wine and then will board a giant ship for a seven day cruise to France, Spain and other parts of Italy.
I guess I should have paid attention in French class or taken Italian! Well, let’s see, I know “Ciao” and “Vino.” I better learn “please,” “thank you” and “where the heck is the bathroom?” I’ve been practicing a few words but I can’t seem to get the accent down and end up stumbling over the words and sounding exactly like some American who doesn’t know the language.
I better stick to drinking wine and not talking.
Vacation prep has been going on for months. Aside from actually planning the vacation and transportation and tours (not to mention preparing for my absence at work), I have to be sure Robert is aware we will be gone and is well-stocked with his supplies. His care facility and Day Program have been notified I will be gone and given contact information for Other Brother in case of an emergency. They have been warned Robert may get grumpy because his routine of visiting us is being disrupted.
I had to tell Robert a few times that we would be leaving and when we would be gone. I also wrote it on all of his calendars so he will be reminded when he looks at the calendar. If he happens to call my office (which happens frequently) then my best friend will talk to him and remind him I’m gone for a while and will offer to take care of whatever he may need.
It’s been an ongoing battle to keep guilt at bay, especially since Robert’s birthday falls while we are away. Don’t think this didn’t escape his attention – when I first told Robert when I would be on vacation he was quiet for a while and then said, “That’s during my birthday.”
Yep. He can’t remember what year it is or the name of the president or what he had for lunch but he certainly knows when his birthday is!
That’s okay; I know Robert will be fine. My wonderful Mother-in-Law is going to take birthday cake to his Day Program and his house manager is going to treat him to a cheeseburger and Rocky Road Ice Cream that night. Plus, we’ll have a celebration once we return from vacation. He’s going to be one happy guy.
We’ve arranged for the animals to be cared for and Other Brother even gets to have Sassy (and all of her medications) again for a while (we’ve shared custody of her ever since Mom died which means Sassy is about 102 years old).
My suitcase is packed and weighs in just under the weight limit (I refuse to pay extra to check another suitcase or pay a penalty for an oversize bag). Admittedly, my shoes have to be in my carry on to stay within the weight limit but I have to bring several pairs of shoes! I mean, I have to! I can make a lot of sacrifices but paring down my shoe choices is not one of them.
Thankfully, a friend reminded me to leave my guilt at home because otherwise my bag would be over the weight limit! I’m taking her advice and going on vacation with confidence the animals and Robert will be well cared for.
While I’m away, I have scheduled interviews with other family caregivers which (hopefully) will automatically post. Enjoy meeting these family caregivers!
Also, check back over the weekend of September 7 for epilepsy related posts (including an interview with Robert) in support of the Talk About It Foundation’s first annual Epilepsy Awareness Weekend.