My mom is an amazing person. I will write a post in the near future telling all about her. For purposes of this post, I want to write about an excursion she and I enjoyed together in July 2009.
My mom had won a fight against lung cancer a few years prior. Although cancer free at the time (NOTE: As of this writing – July 2012 – her lung cancer has returned and she is now under the care of hospice), her daily life had significantly degraded. A portion of her lung was removed as part of her treatment, which impaired her breathing. Pain and fatigue became a constant companion. She limited her daily activities and rarely left the house. As can be imagined, depression detracted the vitality of a previously energetic and carefree person.
I suffer from depression brought on by years of fighting chronic migraine headaches and body pain (and the medication used to treat them), as well as enduring some very stressful events that occured back-to-back over a relatively short span of time, including an attempted suicide (more about that in another post). As was the case with my mom, my daily activities became very restricted and I rarely left the house.
In an attempt to fight my own depression as well as my mom’s, I devised a plan. To break out of the “rut” we were both in, I decided what we both needed was to get out of our respective houses and “hit the road.” I figured we could both use a vacation and spend a few weeks driving across country, visiting family and friends. It would do us both good to get a change of scenery and some fresh air. I called her and told her of my plan to kidnap her for a few weeks and she found the idea exciting.
The New Plan
My mom called me a couple days later with an alternate suggestion. She commented how a cruise was on her “bucket list” but that my step dad did not like the water and was unlikely to go along. She indicated she would cover the cost if I would take her on a cruise instead. I checked with my wife, who was (and is always) very supportive. Even though she would not be going with us, my wife encouraged me to take my mom up on her offer. So I did. Did I mention without any further hesitation?
I researched offerings from various cruise lines using VacationsToGo.com. They were very helpful in finding the right cruise at a very affordable price. I booked a 7-day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean, scheduled to depart July 4, on the Carnival cruise ship Glory. Needless to say, my mom and I were both very excited about the coming adventure. July 4, could not come quickly enough!
We arrived at Port Canaveral the morning of the forth. Because my mom needed a wheelchair, embarkation was a breeze. We were whisked from one station to another, avoiding the long lines, as paperwork, passports, and other items were taken care of for us. We were in our balcony-view room in no time flat. We waved good-bye from the balcony as the ship departed.
Our itinerary included:
- Day at sea
- St. Thomas
- St. Martin
- Day at sea
- Day at sea
- Port Canaveral, Florida
We had a GREAT time! We enjoyed our shore excursions in Nassau, St. Thomas, and St. Martin. Besides tours of the respective places, I had the opportunity to SNUBA while at St. Martin. SNUBA is a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving. On board ship, my mom and I enjoyed shows, meals (including a formal dinner), and picture taking.
Following are pictures from our adventure: