On a whim, a couple weeks ago I signed up for a "Blog Swap" with 20 Something Bloggers. The theme: childhood summer vacation. This is the first guest post we've had on Our Beck Treks, and I'm delighted to introduce the heartfelt writing of my new friend Courtney. Girl's got a way with words. Get out your Kleenex.
The Vacation My Mom Walked
I was 6 when my mom was diagnosed with ALS. Depending on how you look at it we got lucky. She had sporadic ALS, basically meaning it wasn't genetic and she wouldn't have to suffer for years.
When she was diagnosed, my dad and her would take trips everywhere - not for vacations per-se (though I think that's what my sister would call it) but for more in-depth medical treatments. Ones that weren't offered in the small town of Maine where we lived.
During the summer I got to join them on one of these "vacations". It was during the part of the disease where my mom had started to lose the use of her legs.
While I don't remember much of the vacation, I think we were in New Hampshire, I do remember one moment in time. One of the few moments I still have of my mom.
We were in the pool, my dad and I, when the nurse wheeled my mom in to be with us. With the help of my dad and the nurse, my mom joined me in the pool. Like most days I was afraid to touch her, nervous that my pudgy self would brake her constantly growing frail frame.
However, in the water it was as if nothing changed- You're weightless in the water. She was able to hold me, able to wrap me in her arms again- just like she had 6 months before. It was as if nothing had ever changed.
We stayed in the pool for hours, our hands growing prunier by the minute. But we didn't care, we were just grateful to be back to normal.
Eventually the nurse came to collect my mom for another treatment. She was hoisted from the water and put into her chair with wheels.
That was one of the few moments when I saw a smile in my mom's eyes, a spark of life coming back. Though she never gave up, and if her body would've allowed it I'm sure she'd be here today, it was painful watching the following months as she descending into a vegetable like state.
Eventually getting to the point where she could barely talk, let alone eat her own food. But that one, tiny, memory, from a short not-so-much vacation, is one of the few that I have of her. And I couldn't ask for anything more.
That's why it's my favorite childhood vacation, because I got to see my mom walk when everyone said she couldn't.
Courtney’s writings can be found scattered across the interwebs on anything from the latest Bachelor recap to how a cloud server will help re-grow civilization after a zombie attack (she’s creative). But mainly her writing lives on howtowithcourtney.com, a place where she will continue to live out her Carrie Bradshaw esk nights, and Pam Halpert days.