This past summer we’ve been on a secret mission, and we’d like to share it with you.
Just a fair warning.. the rest of this post is a bit more sentimental than we generally share in this space.
The Secret Plan
Last spring my father had received some extraordinarily good news regarding his cancer treatments. His oncologist actually used the ‘miracle’ word. We were elated and shocked, and took a few weeks to let the news set in before making any plans.
When we left Florida, it was with the intentions of him finishing up another round of precautionary chemo and then setting off on a summer road trip. He had charted an ambitious route that would take him through Michigan to dip his toes in all of its Great Lakes.
While we were parked in Austin earlier this summer, we learned the latest scan wasn’t as optimistic.
Instead of his summer road trip, he’d be auditioning a new chemo. It was crushing news on multiple counts and it was tough to be so far away.
But there was no particular urgency to dart immediately back.
We knew that there would be nowhere else we’d want to be this fall and winter than returning to Florida, especially since Chris’ parents also winter there. So we cautiously opted for maximizing our explorations this summer, while always calculating the most direct route back to Florida.
Sometime while we were contemplating where to go from Madison, WI back in July, the idea for Operation: Dip Toes was hatched. We’d go visit all of the Michigan Great Lakes this summer, collect some water from each and bring it back for my dad to dip his toes in.
By golly, if he couldn’t do the trip himself this summer – we’d bring the trip back to him!!
But as my parents are regular readers, we couldn’t reveal the true motivation behind our routing.
We did video chat with my parents the entire way, and each time my dad would say something like ‘you’re doing my summer trip in reverse!’ We did our best to not snicker too much on camera.
Presenting the Surprise
As we were heading back into Florida, my father’s chemo schedule was switched to every other week from weekly. This opened up the possibility of shorter road trips, which my parents pounced on. Their first trip would put them able to rendezvous with us near Savannah, GA at Ann & Elliott’s place.
And even more perfect… it would be over my father’s 68th birthday.
Could I ask for a better setup for presenting our surprise mission? Introducing dear friends to dear family while creating very special memories.
Chris took video clips of me collecting water at each of our lakefront stops. I compiled them into a presentation for my father… with pause points after each water collection. During those pauses, I presented him with the water sample to dip his toes in.. which Chris also filmed.
The finalized video shown below is the completed surprise gift, something he could share with his friends.
We offered to post it in a more limited venue, but he requested YouTube – where perhaps it might have a chance to inspire other families going through similar things. And he encouraged us to share it with you.
So I introduce you to my daddy – who as you might pick up, I kinda fond of. I’m proud to call my parents not just my favorite parents and my amazing business partners.. but also amongst my best friends.
Nomadic Slow Motion Ahead
We will soon plop ourselves in the Melbourne area and attend to some structural changes in our business as my father retires. And of course we want to maximize our quality time with family.
Hopefully after seeing his smile and a glimpse at the love we have for each other, you’ll know why we’re choosing to utilize our location flexibility to be nearby.
Expect fewer fun travelogues in our near term future as our nomadic adventures slow down considerably. To the outsider, our lives are probably going to start to look pretty.. normal.
But there’s absolutely no where else we want to be.