• gentlewomanofthero

An Emotional Photo Diary of a Mother & Daughter Vacation

I wanted this blog post to be a little different then how I'm writing it, but I guess that's how life works, right? My mom is moving to Denver, Colorado and I am heartbroken. It's easy to think that this is the natural progression of our relationship. That it's healthy even.

But my mom and I have been through every stage of life together. We have survived together and now we are thriving together. To think that my best friend will be states away feels paralyzing. So we planned this trip. A trip that felt like the perfect end to this chapter of our lives and simultaneously the perfect beginning to our future. We planned a beautiful week in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. From whale watching and hiking to breweries and posh hotels - every second of this trip was thoughtful and soooo my mom and I.

But so was how our trip ended up.

After spending 24 hours in West Vancouver driving around the city in a convertible and adventuring through state parks my mom received a call from my grandma. My grandpa had a severe heart attack that night and was on the way to the nearest hospital via helicopter. There was no other option then to immediately leave Canada and catch the next flight to Salt Lake City, Utah (they live in rural Nevada so SLC is the closest hospital) to be with them. Now let me paint you a picture of my grandpa - he's a pillar of health. At 70 he is doing yoga regularly, working 10 hour days in his mine, a vegetarian, and the most kind and accepting man to walk this Earth. After surgery, he was immediately back to his normal self - charming, witty, and exuding love. My mom and I decided to spend the rest of the week with them in their Earthship in Nevada to make sure Grandma felt secure and to help around the house, but three days in it seemed that everything was looking up so we allowed ourselves to continue on with our mother-daughter journey. With just a few hours to catch a flight we went back and forth between places from San Francisco, to Seattle, to Alaska, to Montana. Out of complete wishful thinking I looked up the availability of a glamping retreat in Colorado I've been dying to go to for about a year now. To our surprise there were two nights open and a direct flight from Utah to Colorado and it seemed like a sign sent from the travel Goddesses. Within hours we were on the road yet again with zero expectations in mind and thrilled (plus a little anxious) on what the next few days had in store for us.

I would like to take a moment to specify that through all of these turns our trip had taken my mother continued to be exceptional. If you know her at all you would probably think well of course she handled everything wonderfully, that's who she is, but seeing her in action as she openly accepts everything and everyone as what it is is truly spectacular. At every turn she was somehow able to recognize not only what others around her needed, but most importantly what she needed. She's pretty heckin hardcore.

As our trip continues more insane circumstances occurred -  from our rental car breaking down in the middle of nowhere and having to Uber two hours to our camp to getting violently ill the last night of our trip. Though, these things all seem so minute in comparison to all of the fun we had. We drank the most delicious wine from a local Winery, stayed in a lavish tent at the foot of a hill looking out to a working ranch, showered outdoors, zip lined and jumped off cliffs, and met some wonderful folks. Every second at Collective Retreats Vail was thoughtfully curated and so personable it truly felt that my mom and I were destined to end up there.

As our hectic week turned into a restful weekend - I still did not feel the sense of closure I  felt I deserved. Thinking now I realize how silly that is - how could I expect one trip to dissolve all of my anxieties about my mother moving? How could I think that after this trip my heart wouldn't feel like it was shattering every time I remembered that even thinking positively the most I would be able to see her would be once a month. I think the scariest part about feeling sad is even after trying everything you can think of to make yourself feel better - sometimes that is still simply not enough.

I would hate to leave this on a melancholy note, for this whole trip my mom and I successfully remained cheerful and continued to fight until we found a place that would make us happy and comfortable. I am so beyond incredibly thankful to have a role model so emotionally resourceful and resilient or this trip would have been a pain in the heckin butt. I truly thought that at the end of this trip I would write this blog post more on the lines of "My mom is moving, but we had the best time ever in Canada! Here are links to all of the beautiful places we visited and all of the beautiful pieces I am wearing!" Alas, my mom is moving, and we did have the best time ever, and we did go to beautiful places and wore beautiful things, but my heart is still broken - and right now I am going to let myself be okay with that.

Thank you (always) for allowing me this safe place to emotionally rant. Enjoy some photos from our lovely trip along with links to some of my favorite pieces I wore ;)

Three generations of Johnson women

Join My Mailing List
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Pinterest Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
Instagram @gentlewomanoftheroad