Today I was feeling a bit nostalgic.
I talked to a friend about her recent road trip with her mother and she commented how long it was and how much driving was involved. I quickly responded.. Even though it was long, you made memories!
Almost immediately a ton of my own memories of road trips with my mom surfaced my mind. It was hard for me not to get emotional. One of my favorite things was my summers spent with my mom in Georgia. Mom would say, “Lets get in the car and GO!” I never knew where we were going, but she would have a plan. The trusty map that she kept in her glove box would be newly folded with a route in mind. She had the mileage written down next to each stop that we would take in her trusty notepad. She always had the town that we would stop and get gas in written down and made sure we never had less than 1/2 tank. I still till this day wonder how I have not picked up that habit! I am the 1/4 tank queen! She was always prepared and ready for an adventure. We would visit old towns devastated by the war, Ate Fried Green Tomatoes at The Whistle Stop Cafe, hiked the beautiful falls in Dahlonega, The Cabbage Patch Kid factory in Cleveland, The Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon… you name it! If it was in Georgia or a state close by, we would visit. I loved being on the open road and still do. Part of the reason I went to college at Texas Tech (6 hours away) is the drive. Watching the houses pass by and wondering about who lived in those houses and what they were doing at that very moment. I always loved the fact that there was so much more to this world than just my own. The one thing I could always do without is the smell of mom’s cigarettes. My mom smoked like a chimney. Always had since I could remember and did up until after about two years after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Right before I moved her into a facility I was having to do everything for her including her groceries and her smokes were always on the list. One day she left them off and I didn’t ask. I had begged her my entire life to quit and she just could not. And from that day on, she forgot she smoked for 45 years. Was the strangest thing. That is honestly when I really started getting worried about her.
I always joke about that day because I had just recently found out I was pregnant with my first daughter. I imagined buying a carton of Marlboro reds being huge and pregnant and the looks I would get. Still makes me giggle. Days like today really I wish I could remember everything about those times with mom. The talks we had in those many hours going to and from our adventures and more about her own past. I would give just about anything to just sit and talk like we used to.
I find myself really being very aware of writing down things that our girls can have it once we are gone. So even when we are not on this earth and they want to feel a piece of us, they will find us in letters. One of the things that I started many years ago before I got pregnant with my first child is a journal for my children and I encourage each and every one of you do the same. Even if your child is 10 years old, DO IT!! I have written in it every month when they were babies and now I write in it randomly with funny stories, or just to say hello. I pray they treasure their journals as much as I would have if my mom had thought of it. Sometimes daddy even writes in it too! With our first daughter it took four years to get pregnant and the infertility journey is all in there. Every painful memory.. the miscarriage, IVF, all the negative tests… She will have no doubt at all that she was so wanted and loved and God had a divine plane for her life. (Side note: starting to think it was because God had to perfectly craft the most strong will child ever) #terribletwos
My mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease at 61 years old. It has been the most heart wrenching journey I have traveled thus far. (She is now 65) To see your mother physically and have her not be there at all is absolutely horrendous. I didn’t even think to ask my mom all of the details of my childhood before it was too late and that is why I am giving my girls every chance to not feel the same.
Life is just so very short in the scheme of it all…
All we have when we leave this earth to live the eternal life in Heaven is our memories and our words…
If you feel led to help me fight the good fight against this terrible disease, Alzheimer’s please
join our team to walk here in San Antonio on September 19th, 2015. Any donation is appreciated as 100% go towards the research towards research on prevention and cures.