My “Vacation” Was A Journey

In a perfect world, a vacation means doing something relaxing.  Maybe you are relaxing at the beach.  Maybe you are on “staycation.”  I have many of those.  Forever, I wanted to drive and explore the East Coast.  I also wanted my pink bathroom gone.  For weeks now, I haven’t had my hands free to type.  I have been on a journey.  The word journey is doesn’t mean particularly relaxing.  It doesn’t mean all negative.  It doesn’t mean all positive either.

.For years, I want to drive down the East Coast.  One of my personal issues is to find balance in my life.  I love my family.  I love the technical term, “vacation.”  I love my career path.  Someone said to me in his moment of pain, “I think you just don’t want to work.” No, I love my job and being a working mother.  I am a bereaved mother.  I am a cancer survivor.  I am a rare disease mom.  I am apart of the family of first medically documented case in the world to past on this horrible genetic disease.  That part of story is apart of the pillar that makes me, me.

The week before my trip, my former boss died.  It was a mixed relationship.  I didn’t always agree with the way she did things.  She pushed me.  She gave me good memories.  She gave me sleepless nights.  I would never wish her any harm.  I learned from her is the summary of our relationship.  I also feared her.  It was both positive and negative like this journey we have been on.  I fought the tears all day.  I still work two jobs.  All of sudden, I was at one job and grieving at another.

This is when my oldest Hope got ill.  She had a sore throat for three days.  As a mother, I am the teacher of those rainbows.  I am a protector to raise them right.  Being a bereaved mom, I have a mixed relationship with the medical field.  My own personal life has been spared multiple times due to kidney failure.

It was a mixed bag because we drove to Florida and Myrtle Beach. It was an adventure in driving. It brought new meaning to the word long drive. My toddler daughter was recently diagnosed with sensory and attention issues through Early Intervention. It would have been a tough drive for any toddler in a regular car. She is potty training. There were a couple of accidents that made the drive more challenging.

Hope and I got sick a few days before the trip. It got worst. A week after the trip. I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and conjunctivitis. Hope was diagnosed with conjunctivitis, pneumonia and a UTI. My husband just caught a cold. My bathroom is still undone completely at this point. The bathroom contractor failed to notify us that we would have no toilet or shower. If I had not called him that Friday morning, when we were due home, we couldn’t enter our only bathroom at home. My issue is contractor should keep you informed when they are coming and work delays. I have literally had to be assertive with them. Like who is paying who here. I wasn’t quite raised assertiveness. I wasn’t raised to be a part of the first documented family with a rare disease either. My mother did give me good values. I built on those values extremely quickly after my first daughter Avery was born with Campomelic Dysplasia. I did not ask for this personal journey or multiple challenges we face as a family due to it. My daughters were born to this reality. We never knew before hand. By the age of five, my oldest daughter’s alphabet included breast cancer, chemo, radiation and death.

This brings us to the journey of vacation. I try to raise the girls as leaders. We drove to Florida as the bathroom was getting remodeled. A major needed product to fight the black mold. We got an exhaust fan. I am crossing my fingers. This has been going on for years. Tons of late nights to get the house back.

My job as a mom to teach the girls to be leaders. Every family has a story, filled with challenges and triumphs. Our family’s story is not so different.

The movie Dolphin Tale 2 came out the year, I was pregnant with Joy. My oldest Hope loved the dolphin Hope.

This year we chose to use the bathroom remodel as time to go see the dolphins Winter and Hope. The dolphin Winter lost her tail due to injuries she got from fishing traps left out at sea. She survived and she has a prosthetic tail.

Maybe it wasn’t the perfect trip. I was pretty sick when we got there. It was amazing to finally see Winter and to introduce Hope, my daughter to dolphin Hope.


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