I haven't been away from Charlie for more than two hours at a time since July of 2013. I have decided I am due for a respite, and thanks to his daughter, it appears that this is going to be possible.
There are two young people in Florida who have never met their great grandmother, and my sister has a new home she has been waiting for the past year to show off, so I have finally convinced myself that it is time to make the trip.
I have spent many sleepless hours mulling over all the reasons I shouldn't go.
Number one, of course, is Charlie. He always looks forward to a visit from his daughter but he doesn't deal well with change. And I am certain that the entire time I am gone he will be expecting me to walk in the door any minute. Time just doesn't mean a thing to him. If I tell him I will be gone for ten days he will still expect me to be back at bedtime.
Number two on my list of excuses is my irritable bowel syndrome. I will probably have to fast for two days prior to the trip in order to assure a problem-free journey. Also, the family cooks will have to deal with my many food problems. It almost takes the pleasure out of travel.
The third obstacle to such a trip is the New England winter weather. It can be fickle at best. It seems as though every time I schedule a trip by plane the weather raises its ugly head and causes distress.
We have a ninety-minute drive from our home to the nearest airport, through the White Mountains, a drive that can be treacherous at times. My anxiety level is certain to spike in the coming days, until we get the weather report.Then, when it's time to fly home, the anxiety will set in again.Since I have had two trips affected by severe weather conditions, this anxiety is not without foundation.I will be sure to pack my anxiety pills.
I am concerned that my extended absence will have some long-term effect on Charlie's dementia. You just never know how a dementia patient will react to change and loss. I hope I will come back ready to cope with his problems in a more cheerful manner. If that happens, the trip will have benefitted both of us.
P.S.Here I am, three days from departure. The weather promises to be good for the southbound part of the trip. I am praying for the same on February 1st. But Charlie, who gave his blessing for the trip, is developing anxieties.
His calendar is constantly on his lap and he goes over the details at least once an hour. And he has suddenly developed a pain in his elbow requiring Aleve, joint analgesic cream and a pillow under his arm. I am giving him all the sympathy I can muster, but have to wonder what new problem swill develop between now and Friday.
It's almost enough to make me cancel the trip. Almost.