Making dreams come true for people we love who can’t get out easily is tricky. Take my Mom – she’s a 93-year old contrarian full of youthful energy contained in a frail and unforgiving body. Mom has a dream that she won’t let go: to visit our son in another city about two hours away. Our Nicholas has severe cerebral palsy and suffers from chronic pain. It’s sitting that hurts most, so travel for him is challenging. Mom wants to visit her ‘treasure’ badly, so at first we decided to try Skype to connect them.
We gave Mom an Ipad for her 90th a few years ago and she did love chatting with Nick and her other grandchildren. If the program acts up though, or suddenly requires a password to access familiar icons, then the communication breaks down. Skype is a fantastic tool, but it’s not always reliable when Mom is home alone, trying to solve the mysteries of her Apple technology.
Nicholas has been bitten by the travel bug. He wants to visit his grandmother, but he also wants to go further afield, perhaps to see his beloved NHL Ottawa Senators play an away game in another city. Back home, we held a family meeting where we concocted a plan to make two dreams come true at once. We decided to bring Nick to visit my Mom in Montreal. It would be risky – extra morphine was packed in case of pain on the road. A portable hoyer lift was packed into the van in case our young man needed to lie down at Mom’s. Measurements were taken of Mom’s doorways to ensure Nick could get into her apartment with his lift. Cell phones were charged and emergency plans were put in place.
My husband Jim and I travelled with Nick and a helper in the wheelchair van. My sister Karen and her family arrived early to help my Mom get ready for the big day. Did two dreams come true that day? You bet they did. Sometimes the best memories involve a little risk – a risk worth taking for the sake of love and family.