Taking a different kind of risk

I'm heading home.


I'm getting on an airplane during the middle of a pandemic and heading out to see my mom.


I am super excited about seeing my mom. I haven't seen her in almost 2 years!


I am not super excited about traveling.


But, it is winter, and my mom is a snowbird. She heads down to nice, sunny, warm Florida for 6 weeks every winter. I don't blame her. This time of year can be kinda crappy.


And I'm not talking about the weather, because I love the cold and snow!


Christmas is the "most wonderful time of the year," but not always. Those of us who have lost loved ones often step back, remove ourselves from the pomp and circumstance and reflect on those we miss.


Or, like my mom, you get the hell out of Dodge!


She drives down to Florida, and has been doing so for the past several years. She usually has someone to go down with her, but this year, things are a little different. She doesn't have anyone to go with her.


Stupid Covid!


So it is time for me to step up, be the eldest child, (aka, "the good kid") and do what is right for my mom. She's heading to Florida no matter what. And I don't blame her one bit.


But, I refuse to let her go by herself. Would you let your mom drive 24 hours straight by herself?


Now, don't get me wrong, my mom can kick my ass. She is the strongest woman I know...ever!


She will read this, and chew me out, but I don't care.


Credit: https://www.energizer.com/energizer-bunny

She is my hero. She has lived through so much shit, and comes out the other side stronger than ever. She has more energy than the Energizer Bunny. She is freaking hilarious, and sometimes at her own expense.


Sorry mom, but you are a hoot.


She is also super caring. She helps out others and has a generous heart. Even though she is retired, she continues to work as a substitute school "lunch lady".


I think she secretly enjoys hanging out with the kids. And come on...how can you not love someone who dresses up for Halloween as Judge Judy as she serves hot lunch to high schoolers!


I am in constant awe of her work ethic, her strength, her tenacity, her ability to laugh at herself...the list goes on and on.


My book club loves her! My best friends from college love her! Everyone loves her!


She is incredible...so there is no way in hell she's going by herself.


I live several states away, so oftentimes my responsibilities to "keeps tabs" on Mom falls to others, like my Aunt, my step-brother, our long-time neighbor, and at times, my actual brother.


So, I will get on that plane with multiple masks. I will wear a mask while with my mom, and while in Florida. I will not get her sick.


And when I fly home in a week after driving down to Florida, I will self-quarantine in my own house until my negative test comes back. When I need to be around the family, I will be super cautious and be safe.


I will protect those I love.


Cuz, I am a mama bear, and I learned from the best. And even though I am a mama bear now, I will always be my mom's cub. I'm coming Mom!


My mom and I at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

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