Travel has been a significant part of our marriage. When our children were 4 and 2, we made our first trip to Europe. We did it “on the cheap” as they used to say. We didn’t stay in a single place that had a full bathroom in our room. We always had to go down the hall to bathe. The remarkable part is that our son was still in diapers, and that was before disposable diapers were popular. Kate washed diapers by hand for six weeks. We spent one summer in South America when the children were 6 and 4. That was a time when I was involved with a program called Partners of the Americas. The children don’t remember much about it, but it was a great experience for us.
When the children left home, we began to travel a little more. We stepped that up a bit after Kate’s diagnosis in 2011. We knew, of course, that it couldn’t last. Our last international trip was to Switzerland in 2015, not including a Carribean cruise in January 2016. These last two trips signaled the end of our trips out of the country.
We have continued to travel longer than I expected when she was diagnosed. It seems like each trip we take now makes me believe that we are approaching the end of all but short car trips. That would include the trip we just completed. Kate, of course, does not remember anything about the trip; however, I am sensitive to the challenges it introduces for her as well as for me. I am determined to keep it up as long as it seems wise, but we are much closer to the end.
Even before our recent trip to Texas, I believed that would be our last. I wasn’t really sure we would make it until the past few months. Before we left, I was disappointed that we hadn’t been able to spend more time with Kate’s brother Ken, and his wife, Virginia. I began to think of making another trip back sometime in the spring. I’ve already mentioned this to them and to our son, Kevin. I would make it a combined trip to both Lubbock and San Angelo. One never knows exactly what lies ahead, but I believe it is important to make this one. I also believe we may be able to make an auto trip to Memphis to see our daughter and her family. That may also be in the spring. That is as far out as I am willing to project at this point.
I’m not ready to hazard a guess as to how long we will continue our visits with friends in Nashville. I intend to keep visiting as long as it is possible. I think those are important for Kate as well as for me.