Our favorite vacation every year.


The lake at camp.

The lake at camp.

After my last post that was so emotional, raw and REAL, I wanted to just fill you in on our week. WE ARE ON VACATION! Yes. A real vacation.

Every year for the past 4 years we have gone to family camp. The first year we travelled to a wonderful camp in Western Massachusetts. We all loved it. But it was a 12 hour drive. Then we found out about a very similar camp also run by the YMCA and it was only 6 hours away in Pennsylvania. So, we went and loved it too. We go the same week every year, so the kids have friends they reconnect with and so do Jim and I.

This year is even more special. My parents are joining us. I am not only excited about being away from work, the house, and life for a week, but I am excited about spending this downtime with my mom and dad. There is no cell phone reception, no tv’s and no internet. Just a beautiful lake, arts and crafts, a zip line, hiking trails, biking trails, volleyball, basketball, kayaking, and so much more.

In the mornings the kids go off with counselors and do activities with their friends. The grown ups get to go for trail rides, spin class, sailing or whatever they want. Then in the afternoons we can either hang as a family or hang with friends. Most of the time we hang with friends.

It has been great to see the excitement on the kids’ faces and hear them discuss all the stuff they are going to do with their cohorts. Building forts, playing games, swimming, making bracelets and just having a grand time doing a little of this and a little of that. Each evening there are activities as well.

Frances on a hike while at our first family camp in 2010.

Frances on a hike while at our first family camp in 2010.

I remember the first year we went to the camp in Massachusetts, I confided in a single mom I became friendly with that we were having Jim tested and thought he might have Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. At that time, it was really  so inconsistent and fleeting and hard to see his symptoms easily. I also remember last year being so frustrated and angry as we were packing to leave. Jim normally would be the one taking charge of the bike rack and the luggage. But he was confused and unable to manage the bikes, the rack or the carrier to go on top of the van. I was sweating and just wanting to get on the road. Finally I just took the carrier, threw it into the back of the van instead of on top and attached the rack, loaded up the bikes and took off. But not before I had let anyone within ear shot know how I felt. Ugghhh. Another one of those unproud moments.

This year I don’t expect much. It is still frustrating when he takes things and puts them in various places that make it difficult to find and when he can’t really help with all he used to. But I am mentally prepared. I am knowing that he can’t and so I know I must.

Last year Jim had difficulties keeping up with when his volleyball games were. I am ready this year. I am bringing him a little pad of paper to write down all of  the things he is wanting to do and scheduled to do. I am so glad the kids get to see him in his element; playing sports and having fun.

We are at Family Camp. As a family. Together. Making memories. Keeping a tradition alive. Enjoying us. Enjoying life. Enjoying the moment.

The Flight 93 Memorial is about 45 minutes away so we try to make sure we go each year.

The Flight 93 Memorial is about 45 minutes away so we try to make sure we go each year.

posted by Karen in Early Signs of Alzheimer's,Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease,Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease and have Comment (1)

One Response to “Our favorite vacation every year.”

  1. Michelle Fox says:

    Be thankful and enjoy…many families caring for loved ones with Dementia have lost everything and would never have this opportunity. These are special days that you and the kids will look back on with delight. Happy your parents can join you…extra special !!!!

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