FaceTime, phone calls and videos exchanged cannot replace in-person chats and hugs, especially when the recipients are grandchildren. I miss chasing eighteen-month-old Auggie around the house, or cuddling with Sloane to “watch something”, or exploring the million why’s of Finn. I miss my grown children, family and friends whom I value deeply. Homecoming, I know, will be emotional and overdue.
I do not miss the cold of an Ontario winter, how the weather creeps into old veins, cramps muscles and exacerbates pain. I don’t miss being homebound for days because my walker won’t glide through thick slush. I don’t even miss the home we sold and left behind to expedite this journey.
There is much to be gained in daring to venture, to risk pushing beyond the boundaries of routine existence, to drive purposefully into the unknown. Stripped of the stresses of debt and schedules, Ric and I are experiencing each other in a way we never could before: we are free-spirited and finding that laughter comes more easily.
We are discovering new vistas, reveling in the small moments, like scrumptious food, or the sighting of a new bird, or the marvels of how many varieties of flavoured potato chips Lays offer in the U.S.
Mostly, minus the distractions of everyday life, we have time to commit to ourselves, to developing new passions or deepening old ones. I am writing more, and have enrolled in painting lessons. Ric and I have started birding. He is revelling in tinkering about the motor home, learning the ins and outs of RVing. We are focusing on making healthier choices, caring for ourselves.
As in all aspects of life, it is people who make the difference. We have enjoyed meeting new people and the highlight to date is meeting a fellow blogger in person. Jazz of Steps and Pauses and I hit it off immediately online, and were pleased to find that the connection continued in person. We spent a lovely afternoon with Jazz outside of Austen, and hope to meet up again along the road.
I am confident that home relationships will endure our absence, and even more certain that this adventure of ours will only better our lives. Every day, as the landscape changes, and our health permits, I give thanks for our good fortune and the blessing that is my husband, for who else would have conceived of taking a chronically ill woman and loading her into a 40 foot motor home and driving her around the continent? He has given me the power to define myself as something other than useless (my word) and I love him for it.
Writer, avid reader, former educator, and proud grandmother, currently experiencing life through the lens of ME/CFS. Words are, and always have been, a lifeline. Some of the best adventures, I'm discovering, take place in the imagination.