The Mother Land

This week's blog post comes a few days early because Tabitha and I leave tomorrow for a vacation.

If I say I'm working ahead and getting this blog out of the way, maybe she won't ask me to do too many things in preparation for the trip. One of the things I've been working on is making sure all the food in the fridge is eaten. I mean taken care of so it won't spoil (kick save and a beauty).

We were talking about vacations the other day, and we haven't done anything this long in five years. To top that, this is our first time going anywhere with my two sisters for about 45 years or so.

We didn't do much traveling as kids, mainly because my mom got sick when I was young and that puts a damper on travel. I can only imagine what it would have been like trying to get a woman in a wheelchair anywhere in the 1970s.

On the other side of this, Mom having MS meant plenty of kindhearted people came and visited us. And as Catholics, that meant plenty of big families to spend time with. Life was made a lot easier because of the friendship so many people showed, and I've noticed the kids of my mom's friends are just as awesome as their parents.

In the winter of 1980, my aunt and cousin came to Joplin to visit, and they got to experience snow for the first time in their lives. My aunt Sally and cousin Cathy lived in Bermuda at the time (my aunt has moved to heaven since then to join my mom and their brother, Joe) and it had to be a bit of a culture shock to go from an island paradise to snowy Joplin.

Since learning where Mom was born and grew up, I've always wanted to visit. My sisters have had the same pull, but none of us have gone. Actually, I'm surprised neither of them have, but they usually vacation with friends.

So imagine my surprise a few months ago when my sister Nan told me she and my sister were going in June to Bermuda. Actually, I wasn't surprised they planned it without me. Girls are mean. Then I was doubly surprised that as she was talking about the trip, my wife was looking up airfare and accommodation prices. Turns out we didn't do anything for our 25th wedding anniversary last year, so it's a big present for me, and us.

Fast-forward a few months and we are leaving tomorrow morning, meeting up with my daughter in Miami (Fla.) then jetting to Bermuda.

The bonus part of the trip is getting to meet some of the family I have never met (Sally had other children). But really, I want to go where my mother once went and hope to catch a little more of that spirit that's been with me since she moved to heaven more than 27 years ago.

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