My mom and I have always been close, and she (along with my adventurous Grandma Hoyt) taught me that life was best lived through travel, adventure, and trying to make an ordinary day a little brighter. It didn't have to be a big thing - something as simple as a picnic lunch in the yard, a "little trip" to the town 5 miles away to buy fruit, or a walk up the hill to the pond to feed the ducks. She made most every day brighter for me, and I could always count on her to be game for a little fun. She'd even go waterskiing with me and my friends AND SKI when she was in her 50's!
She taught school for 30 years, and was planning to retire and then my dad had a stroke - nine months from retirement. Her plans were changed in an instant, and from then on she basically took care of him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for over 20 years - until he passed away last year.
Now that he's gone, she's been completely lost as to who she is without him, who she is without someone to care for, and she just can't seem to find her old adventurous self.
I worry about her happiness constantly, and think it's time to kickstart a new chapter for her - just so she can prove to herself how much life she has left to live. I told her I was taking her on an adventure to Paris, but what she doesn't realize is that she'll be gone for MONTHS - Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Munich, London, and everywhere in between! We're going on a learning tour - basically teaching an old dog new tricks! Although in this case the dog is my beautiful mother, and "tricks" are things like making croissants in Paris, glass blowing in Venice, and impressionist painting in the south of France. She gave me her love of adventure - so I'm going to give her an adventure to love!!
Follow the journey here, and I'd love your suggestions and help!