Ah, May, the time when people around the office and in my social circles casually ask me, “so what are your plans for this summer? Vacation? Adventurous motorcycle ride? Travel?
This year, now that I have been employed long enough to reach the highest tier of earned leave (six weeks of paid vacation time), my prospects for fun things to do during time off this summer…
…has a dismal outlook.
I used to love to travel to exotic and interesting locations with The Spouse. We have been to Australia, New Zealand, my favorite island in the world (Puerto Rico), and several countries in Western Europe. I have traveled even more widely to Asia, Africa, Central and South America, other Caribbean countries, as well as Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
We also enjoyed traveling a lot throughout the open and friendly lands of our Northern Neighbour — from British Columbia to Ontario (and I have been to all provinces and territories on my own). And over our first 15 years of being together, to some 30 states of the USA — together — much of which was on two wheels.
Then… ahhh… last year. Began with my “one day” adventure on the Big Island of Hawaii and my “crazy-awesome motorcycle adventure” of visiting “The Mighty Five” national parks of Southern Utah on two wheels with my great friend, “S”.
… not so much. Spouse remains ill. He insists and cries, “something is wrong!” but 43 specialists and 121 tests cannot find anything. No cause… no cure.
Meanwhile, the mother-in-law calls each day complaining about her care, angry, frustrated, and difficult. Dementia wreaks its toll, and it all falls on the big shoulders of my Spouse. I do what I can to help, but this situation seems that it will continue ad infinitum.
This summer, my vacation time will be less likely on two wheels and more likely on four, whilst driving The Spouse to endless doctor’s appointments and with trips to Pittsburgh to do what we can about the mother-in-law.
Such is the life of living the vows, to honor, respect, and support in sickness and in health.
Life is short: live the vows and show those you love how you love them.