This fall, we’re going on vacation. In itself, this is not news — we vacation often. This one is not an ordinary vacation. It’s “the vacation of a lifetime.” Five weeks in Europe (mostly Italy) and doing all the things we’ve dreamed about. We’ll be in Munich for Oktoberfest. We’re spending a few nights in Venice. We’re spending a week at Lake Como and one in Tuscany. We’re visiting family. We’re taking a cooking class in Bologna. IN BOLOGNA!
We’ve been to Italy once before and we called that one our vacation of a lifetime. We were pretty sure we’d never get to go back, but once we got home we began planning this one!
So, what’s the problem?
I guess it’s more fear…fear and guilt. Dad’s Alzheimer’s has progressed dramatically. So much so, that he is now under hospice care. He’s still able to walk around the house, but there’s a hospital bed in their living room. He confuses every woman with his wife and often is angry, but there are still kisses all around. His behavior has gotten increasingly more random (he washed all the remote controls and the telephone in the sink of hot, soapy water yesterday.) He’s just recently gotten over pneumonia and when he catches it again, it will likely be the end.
Back to our vacation. I am afraid he’ll die while we’re on vacation and my mom won’t have me there. I’m afraid he’ll die before we leave an we have to cancel at the last minute. I feel guilty for hoping he doesn’t impact our trip. I feel guilty for being gone for 5 weeks and leaving my mom. I’m afraid I’ll miss something important and I feel guilty for even thinking of all these things.
We’ve bought the travel insurance. I’ve made sure that I can be reached any time for any reason (even as simple as mom calling to tell me who won Jeopardy! or what silly thing happened at the market.) I’ve made all my plans. The fickleness of life is the only variable. The one thing I cannot control.
Where does that leave me? Fear and guilt.