I have meant to write more about the trip but there are so many distractions these days and stress has had a strangle hold on me....stress of worrying about Dad. He is so frail now and the stubborn bronchitis has slowed him down considerably. It seems eveyday I am on the egde of my seat each time the phone rings, wondering, wondering what is happening...a move to a nursing home may be coming. He is checked on at the assisted living facility but he is getting to the point of needing more care. Weekly counseling to talk this out helps a bit but I still have such a feeling of helplessness and loss. I know this is a life passage, and I am most fortunate to have had my wonderful father for so long, to have been able to help him in many ways, etc, but the idea of him being gone is daunting. Other times I am just so TIRED from all the stress that I feel I will jump out of my skin, then that feeling turns to guilt and questioning why I do not have the strength to stay on an even keel with this....truly a rat's nest of emotions. I am talking this out with LM and he is very suportive and loving, then I feel guilty for sort of "bursting the bubble" on the peace of our relationship (this is my own thought and not something LM has made me feel in any way). I just have to learn this is real life, the relationship is going to survive, it is OK to be stressed by this major life event. I am just so caught up in wanting everything to be perfect and even....not the true nature of this life.
On to lighter things....LM and I are still reliving the experiences we shared on the FL trip and that brings us much laughter and happy moments. From the beginning of our relationship we talked about how we both loved road trips, taking side roads, exploring, and even the rush of being in heavy traffic with trucks, etc (I know, it's quirky!). We are both very curious.
When we were asked to drive a new BMW convertible to FL for a friend we began to dream about what fun it would be!
After doing a few day trips together we felt more certain than ever that the FL trip would be such fun and a way to really deepen our bond. Now we have done it, we were right....from Cape Cod to Baltimore, to FL and back by way of Wilmington, NC and Baltimore again, every minute was what we expected and so much more. We saw family - my brother and family in Baltimore, my daughter and family in FL, old friends from Cape Cod, and many others in between.
Miles sped by, we held hands continuously and if we weren't talking we were exchanging sweet and often funny glances. I napped (glad I brought my pillow) and felt a loving hand on my neck or caresssing my hair, we sang along with Roy Orbison and lots of other great music. I read aloud, sometimes for an hour or more....interesting articles from Vanity Fair and The New Yorker which evoked some great conversations, teaching us much more about each other.
There was never an unhappy moment and at times there were ocassions which could have been stressful, like the 15.5 hr drive because we could not find a place to stay in SC or GA...finally got a place on the FL border and gratefully fell in to a deep sleep.
There is something about being confined in a small space for days on end which spawns deep conversations and many meaningful moments.
We saw amazing skies, beautiful turquoise water, felt warm sand beneath our feet, gathered shells, saw great beauty and garish excess, experienced the peaceful beauty of walks in National Parks, laughed hysterically when we watched the movie "Hairpsray" with my brother and his wife in Baltimore, savored incredible fresh citrus and just picked strawberries (the smell in the car was amazing), proudly admired what wonderful young men my FL grandsons have become, and we each felt totally loved in so many ways.
Coming home was a huge adjustment!! The memories will sustain us forever, I am sure. Once again we are settled back in to our usual routine of seeing each other on the weekends but very often we are still "driving to FL" with those same wonderful feelings.