A Road Trip I Would Only Take for My Mom
I’ve found that having a parent with Huntington’s disease makes you value every moment with them, even in unfortunate situations. For instance, normally I wouldn’t volunteer to go on a road trip from Massachusetts to Illinois, but I would for my mother.
As I’ve previously written, my mom was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, and we are very close. When I moved into a new place with my partner, my mother planned to visit. She wanted to help us unpack, get settled, and see the new place.
The ability to get around by car is important to her, so she decided to drive with her friend to Boston, a 16-hour drive without stops. Her friend would fly back after a few days, but Mom planned to stay for two weeks, meaning she would have to drive back to Illinois by herself. I had already planned to return there eventually to go through my stuff before my parents move to Virginia, so I volunteered to drive back with her on this trip.
Mom’s time in Boston came, and after some settling in and a tourist trip to the famous bar Cheers, it went. When the day arrived for us to drive back, we woke up at 6 a.m. and got moving. Being stuck in a car for a full day normally would be torturous for me, but with my mom, it was a breeze.
When I was younger, I would curl up in the back of the car, sleep, and watch the TV show “Survivor” during the brief periods when I was awake. Now, every second I can spend with my mom seems important. Every second that ticks by is a second I can’t get back. I replay my memories of the trip, fearing I might forget them.
I remember stopping at a rest stop in New York and buying an absurd amount of snacks, like we were teenagers with a parent’s credit card. I remember stopping in a terrifyingly deserted town for gas, which reminded my mom of a scene with Kathy Bates in the movie “Rat Race.” These are memories I hope to cherish for the rest of my life.
While I know my mom won’t die anytime soon, I know that at some point, it will be difficult to make more of these memories, due to loss of motor functions and other issues related to Huntington’s. So, I plan to make as many of them as I can before we get to that point.
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