I used to love our family road trips. I thought it was so much fun to pile into our 1957 Chevy station wagon and head off for parts unknown. We always had a destination in mind, but I’m pretty sure we had no plans along the way. It didn’t matter. I loved it. What I didn’t realize as a kid was just how much work my Mom had to do to make this all possible. Later as I reflected on the sandwich making in the front the seat; the Handi-wipes after eating; the spillage and the arguments between my brother and me; it was very clear that my Mom was a trooper who got no credit.
And today she still is… She is a spry 84-year old who weighs all of 118 lbs. She is a bit hard of hearing, but sharp as a tack. She moved with us to Franklin (which is HUGE!) and she was my co-pilot for the journey across the I-40. Her lap was Baxter’s haven when he wasn’t buried under the pillows and blankets.
You might remember that, although I’ve taken a lot of road trips, I’ve never gone across the country. My Mom and I had a blast! There were very few moments of silence and when we had them, it was to take in the beauty of the land. I now know about “purple mountains majesty and the fruited plains…”
And sometimes we were overcome by the sheer vastness and beauty of our country that silence was the only way to honor what we were seeing.
Our view as far as the eye could see.
We didn’t want to get accustomed to it. We wanted to take it all in And we did. But most of the time we were laughing about something – usually what it’s like to travel with cats! We remembered funny stories from the past. We talked about our feelings about the move and how much we all had to trust and communicate with each other. Mom and I had 4 days in the car together and not one single problem or cross word.
We laughed hysterically at the motels at all the goofy things that happen on a road trip. I wish Dominic could have been in the car with us, but he was usually way behind us somewhere on I-40 with Sassy sitting on the pillows.
Before we left our home in Valley Village, she was the one who was most excited. She was looking forward to all things new but I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t crying. And then when I was sobbing during the drive, she was fine. She was just such a trooper.
And then we arrived in Franklin on August 9 about 4:30 in the afternoon and the reality finally hit her. She was very far from home and her family and her friends. Franklin didn’t look at all like she thought it would (much larger); she had never really spent time here and she was moving into a house she had never seen. Now we were all scared and feeling very vulnerable.
Mom seeing her new house for the first time with Dominic by her side. She’s crying.
The next day would be chaos with movers and boxes and not knowing where anything was. The remote for her bed was missing and so, God bless her, the first night she slept on the sofa because her bed was deflated. (Sleep Number Beds are great when they are filled, but otherwise, they’re useless.)
We’re settling in now, but I always have this feeling deep inside that the adjustment is going to take time…that she internalizes a lot of things that she doesn’t share. I pray she’s going to be okay here in Franklin, Tennessee.
I’m looking forward to seeing her look like this one day again soon.
I can tell you this – she thinks her new house IS starting to feel like home.
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