Around this time last year I also took a road trip and considering what I just recently lived through I suspect I was going through something back then to. Last year I drove to Toronto and this year to Florida but in a more roundabout way and got to visit places I had never before. Visiting places I have not been to before is one of my 2017 goals that I set for myself at the beginning of this year.
It started with not being sure if I could afford this recent trip and technically I could not. Sometime back in March or April I had reached out to a childhood friend that I had not seen in years( turns out 29 yrs to be exact) and said I would probably do a road trip in the summer and would love to pass through to say hello. I was surprised when he suggested it was a great idea and that if I wanted to I could even stay at his place. I didn’t think much of it at the time( turned out to be the best thing). Sometime in early July or maybe late June my older sister was in the area visiting and before she left I gave her a reading. I was spooked by what feeling it gave me about our mom. I think about that time I resolved I had to make it happen, the road trip. A couple of days later my mom casually mentions that the tumor she had in her 30’s has come back and my first thought is she is not healthy enough for surgery due to her heart condition.
I hemmed and hawed over timing, financing and whether considering my financial pitfall made it a bad idea. I immediately came to the conclusion it was a bad idea that had to be done. I had also resolved that this would be my good bye tour with my loved ones. I wasn’t sure how I would do it, but I felt at the time that I needed to end my pain and reasoned they would be better off without me. That specific thought gave me a sense of peace and joy.
My first stop was in Chattanooga and I have to say the place is beautiful and inexpensive. The house I stayed in was amazing and as was his family and I particularly liked his wife. She tolerated me despite my northernisms and the slight awkwardness in the air. They were amazing considering that for all intents and purposes I was a stranger despite having childhood and familial connections. At best we are like cousins, once removed.
I drove through Atlanta and got just a slight taste of their traffic nightmare. Timing is everything. I eventually made it to Valdosta and met with an old co-worker. She bought me dinner and I recounted in my colorful way my travels up to that point. My second destination was Orlando with one of my many assorted siblings. She and her husband were, as always, amazing hosts.
The following day I drove to my final destination, Miami and tried to get to my moms house before she left for work but had just missed her. I instead made rounds with my last standing elder, my grandmother and saw a sleuth of assorted relatives. When you come from a family of eight kids it is a godsend when you get to see them in bulk.
The trip as a whole was a success and after seeing my mom and her condition I realized I could not do that to her. I could also not leave my child unprotected as she still needs me, at the very least emotionally.
It seems this trip helped me reset, which is great. It also haunts me the sense of relief I felt at the idea of suicide.