That is my mother in Morocco, in November of 2009. That seems like such a long time ago to most people, but to me, it seems like yesterday. In fact, I almost wrote 2010, instead of 2009–it just doesn’t seem right that she was on that trip nearly 2 years ago. I guess that shows you how quickly time flies. Or, maybe I am just now understanding how much her cancer dominated so much of our lives over the last year–2010 went fast and with distraction.
She had a great time on the Morocco trip, unaware that there was something growing inside her, something greedy and cruel.
I like that she was smiling and happy.
She got to ride a camel! It was something she had wanted to check off her bucket list, although, I don’t think she really had a bucket list, per se. She used the picture of her on the camel for her Christmas card that year. It’s now one of my favorite photographs of her.
She loved to travel and she passed along that love to me, as well. I will forever be grateful to her instilling in me a desire to see more of the world than my backyard and the local mall. I mean, I love being home and the comfort it brings, but I also love seeing new places, meeting new people, learning all the many things that make up this great big world.
The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. ~St. Augustine
Right now, with the unrest in the Middle East, I have an even greater appreciation for the experiences ThrillCam and I had in Jordan, last November. The people, the food, the dust, the stones, the antiquity, the history…all make for a wonderful and unforgettable trip. And, I realize I may never have an opportunity to go back to the Middle East, again. At least, not for a good while.
I would never have even considered going to Jordan, had Mother not sent us. She had planned to go–the trip originally was to be a girls trip including my sister. But, then my mom was told she had lung cancer. She decided to back out of the trip (as did my sister), and she sent ThrillCam and me, instead.
And, why Jordan?
Mother and I both wanted to see Petra.
She wanted to see a man-made wonder of the world.
I wanted to photograph it.
She wanted me to fulfill that wish.
So, I got to.
I look back on the trip with a new tinge of sadness, though. I think…what if she had been feeling well enough to go, what memories would we have made together, what conversations would we have had, what photographs would I have to cherish of the two of us together?
But, I can’t dwell on the what ifs.
She wouldn’t want me to.
What my mom would want, is for me to dream about the next place I want to visit…and then find a way to get there.
And that’s the wonderful thing about family travel: it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind. ~Dave Barry