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Sunday, May 9, 2010

RVing Mom

My mother doesn't know me.  Not any more.  She hasn't known who I am for the last four or so years.  My mom suffers from the insidious disease of Alzheimer's.

My mom was the one in our family that ignited the interest in RVs.  She always had an eye on the look out for a nice camper.  When I was a a mere wisp of a lad, my parents took me to the 1964-65 Worlds Fair in NYC.  I remember mom looking at slide in campers on some pickup trucks, she lifted me up to see the inside.

Some years later, my parents bought an old trailer permanently installed in a lot on Brant Lake, in the Adirondacks in New York state.  The trailer looked like a well worn cousin to Desi and Lucy's trailer from the movie The Long, Long Trailer.  We all loved that trailer, and mom would always have a snack or a delicious meal ready for us when we came back from a day of swimming, fishing and boating.

The trailer was sold and some years later my dad bought for mom a micro mini motorhome, a Sunline Class C on a Toyota truck chassis.  They enjoyed it and often would swing by for the weekend and park in my backyard when we lived on Sandy Hook, NJ.  We'd sit out in the backyard and watch the big airliners fly overhead on their flight path to NYC's JFK airport while we snacked on some delight that mom whipped up in her tiny kitchen.

I helped my mom and dad shop for their next RV, a new 1993 Conquest Class C on a Chevy chassis.  It seemed huge compared to their micro mini and mom loved the kitchen.  Cooking was one of her loves and she made the most of it.  She wanted to travel and convinced my dad that they should go to Alaska.  And so they did, spending a whole summer seeing the sights.

Marti and I bought our Four Winds Class C and we went camping with mom and dad on many weekends.  Mom really liked our motorhome's queen bed that was in the back, she was getting tired of climbing up into their over cab bed.  Before we knew it, they bought the twin to our motorhome. 

I was glad to take them on a couple of extended trips, one to the USAF Museum in Dayton, OH.  We looked at some of the planes my dad worked on.  I still can see in my mind's eye mom walking around the B-29 Bocks Car, the plane that dropped the second atomic bomb in WWII, fascinated by the tiny tail gun position where my dad flew on another B-29.

I took mom and dad on a trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota, doing the whole thing: Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Needles Highway, Crazy Horse.  We even went on a trail ride with some horses through the very scenic woods near Mount Rushmore.  Mom always loved riding, and I'm so glad we did that.  She was starting to slow down, had a hard time getting into the saddle, but once she was there, she became a young girl again and rode her horse like a pro.

I'm so glad I took her on those trips.  She enjoyed herself.  I couldn't have done anything that she would have enjoyed more.

Now she isn't here anymore.  I can't send her flowers, or tell her how much I love her.  All I can do is say a prayer that somewhere in her failing mind, she has a spark of life and is living in her happy memories.

Mom and Dad (and Mindy) at Gettysburg KOA 2003

1 comment:

  1. OH gosh.. many hugs to you and your RVing mom.

    May you go on to live the life she wanted you to have, and enjoying the RV to the fullest.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard