Saturday, May 8, 2010

Road Trip: The First Planning Meeting

Sunday night we got together. We ate cheeseburgers off the grill, baked beans, pasta salad, and potato salad. And let's not forget the angel food cake with strawberries and whipped topping. Once our tummies were full and the kids had left the table to go play, we pulled out the maps and laptop with mapping software. With less than seven weeks until the estimated departure dates, we needed to talk about routes, timelines, and possible mid-journey connections.

A couple of days later I received an email from my mother-in-law. She was sensitive to all of the dynamics unique to each of her boys' immediate families and the hurdles we would each need to leap over to get to the reunion. (Nothing is ever easy, at any stage of life, or it would be rather dull. We don't have dull lives.) She lavished a lot of thanks, which was so sweet, but the most important part is this excerpt:

After our planning session on Sunday afternoon, I reflected on how much the planning for this trip has done for Dad/Grandpa.  It was during a time when he was feeling so down concerning his eyes and all that he couldn't do any more, that I suggested that we talk about a trip like this.  He wasn't sure that you all would be able to do something like this (or would even want to - too many difficulties for each of your families - too many hurdles to overcome).  When it looked like that you were interested in this adventure, he began to think that maybe it could happen.  I think that this trip was one of the things that made him think of looking into surgery for his eyes.  Then, as the Lord often does, Dr. Pratt was the main speaker at the January Blephoraspasm Meeting.  You know the rest - this past Sunday was the first time in about 4 years that his eyes have stayed open for the whole service, they stay open most of the time even when he is riding in the car now, and he can read for longer periods of time that he has in the past.  Praise the Lord!

Though we realize that Dad's eyes are still a "work in progress" we are so grateful for the huge improvement that he has already experienced. The thought that the idea of this road trip could encourage and lift his spirits, giving him something to look forward to, well it blesses me. I've always really liked my father-in-law. But now I am reminded of something we have in common. He has been away from his family for years, many, many more year than I have been. He, too, knows what it's like to not be around his family for holidays and special gatherings. Yet, unlike me, I don't think I have ever heard him complain or express any self-pity.


  1. I am impressed with all you have done so far in getting your family ready for this journey......Good job. I can't wait to follow you along on this very, very long car trip. How about a small hand held recorder. You can then ask each family member what their favorite site or happening for the day was.

  2. Great idea, Linda. I hadn't thought of that. I'll look into what one of those cute little recorders cost.