This weekend I aim to create memories. I am living a life with my daughter who is on borrowed time and although I certainly hope and pray she lives a long and healthy life with her transplanted heart, I also try to be cognizant of the fact that I have no guarantees. Now, no one really has any guarantees (see this horrific story about the dad and 11 year old son who lost their lives in the Nice attack yesterday), but my awareness of this is just a bit more acute with my DD.
Many of my favorite memories from childhood are those on the road. I didn’t always have the most pleasant of experiences at home. My father was an alcoholic, but for some reason, when we were traveling, he was usually pretty good about staying sober. I remember my mom reading to me (for some reason, I really remember reading Ishi one year on our way to Wyoming), listening to the AM radio as we drove through darkness on unfamiliar roads, waking up in a new place each morning. I remember one time in Arizona waking to the braying of a wild donkey (burro?) outside of our van at a rest stop. I remember going to museums and old ghost towns and zoos in other cities. We did a lot of things on these trips and they always felt like an adventure. We didn’t have super specific plans. There were no cell phones with GPS so we went by maps and stopped at Visitor Centers. We camped at rest stops and KOA campgrounds and state and national parks. And all of those trips created fond memories of family. That is what I want for my daughter. No one’s life is all good memories. She will have her share of hospital and medical memories that will not be great, but hopefully we can create some others that will be her true place of comfort and joy.