Prepping to hit the road & then life throws a curve ball
The excitement certainly didn’t diminish after bringing our new RV back to Orlando. We set it up in literally the only campground nearby that had the availability we needed, since all the snowbirds had already arrived for the winter season. To be honest, the place we ended up at wasn’t all that great, but it provided us with what we needed for the time being since our HOA had specific restrictions against RV’s being in the neighborhood. We weren’t there too often as we were still living at home and working our tails off as usual, but after work, we would often go to the RV with a little more to move into it and we would work on unpacking, organizing and just taking time to be in it, take in the moment and everything we are embarking on together. So typical moving stuff! With everything that had been going on lately with hurricane Matthew, family health challenges and more, we decided to nix all of the renovation plans we had in the works and put them on the back burner. Returning the beautiful flooring we purchased was not easy, but we know we will make it happen sometime in the future.
The Saturday before we were preparing to leave for our big trip, our maiden voyage to North Carolina, we had our friend, Hector come over and help finish our move. We were pumped! We were excited to wrap this up, excited to show Hector the RV and EXCITED to be hitting the road soon for a much needed vacation – even though there would still be work involved, it’s far better to work at the top of a beautiful mountain than a drab office all day long. True story.
We chatted with Hector for a bit before getting started with everything, but then my phone rang and it was Grandma. She was calling to let us know that Grandpa had been taken to the hospice hospital and that he had pneumonia – yet again. Everything changed in that moment. She was telling me all of his latest medical updates, but telling me that there was nothing to be concerned with at this point, that the doctors were taking care of him, but that he was in bad shape – my head was spinning. I got off the phone and looked at James and somehow managed to say “I’m so glad we were able to show him the RV” before breaking down in tears in James’ arms. We both agreed that we were SO happy he was able to see the RV since that was something we always knew would mean so much to him and he’s very much a part of this new journey of ours. It’s just so rare for someone his age to survive pneumonia and even though he’s miraculously beaten it before, things just sounded different this time since he had it longer than any of us even knew.
Hector already was aware of Grandpa’s health status, let alone how special he is to us, so this wasn’t a surprise to him and he tried to be as helpful and supportive as he could. He stayed with us ALL day, helped James get things done while I scrambled to figure out what I was even doing in between the endless phone calls to my grandmother telling her that we were cancelling our trip and coming back over to help and have time with him. She wasn’t having that AT ALL. She repeatedly told us not to cancel and to go on the trip. I said it wasn’t that important and that we could easily put it off for another time – Grandpa was more important. This went on throughout the whole day and everyday after.
Of course we chose to cancel the trip. Grandma never backed down though, which was even more mentally and emotionally draining. Then we got the call. Grandpa pulled through and would be returning home. She finally declared that we were going on our trip and that the last thing we should do with our lives is to “sit around and wait for someone to die” and as strange, morbid and/or selfish as that may sound – she was making her point and sticking to it. She then explained that Grandpa wanted us to go on our trip and that it was the one thing that was keeping him in good spirits, that he was looking forward to everyday in hearing where we were and what we were doing. He also couldn’t wait for us to go back to the same KOA campground we spent our summers at during my childhood. That meant so much to him.
James and I spent the rest of the day and the next, well into the evening, discussing everything and even though it was late at night, we decided to just pack in the RV and hit the road. Grandpa was good and the stress and worry was gone. So let’s get to North Carolina and make this journey even more about Grandpa than before.
The beauty of preparing for our full time RV life, was that we were driving to the areas we wanted to go on a whim and without reservation, so that in itself was going to be a learning experience. Before that could happen though. We needed to hit the road and we finally did… at 3:00 in the morning!