Today, my 83 year old mother made one of her bi-annual trips from the Caribbean to the US to visit my elder brother and myself. She comes up twice a year, stays two months and then heads back down to the warmth. She does it because for one, she knows that my brother and I are not going back home. I don't have any desire to visit there. It is not the same country I grew up in, and it has changed so much unfortunately for the worse.
In 2012, I went back home for my mother-in-law's funeral and stayed in the country for 48 hours. I literally could not wait to leave, despite the beauty of the land. It was hot and oppressive, there are too many cars for the roads, and it is polluted. I could barely breathe. And the crime rate is through the roof. People all live in their private jails, all of their doors and windows barred up with burgular proofing. Drugs are rampant, and murders and kidnappings are an every day occurrence. For an island the size of Rhode Island, the murder rate was 100 in the middle of March.
The health care system is a joke, so I am not going back there with my complicated conditions to have something go wrong and literally be killed in the hospital. So I don't go back. No desire to. The last time I went back was the first time after fifteen years. And it is the same for my brother. He has his issues with health too, and he has no desire to go back. So my mother, bless her, hops on a plane twice a year to make the trip up to the US to see her sons. She does have the option to live here, but she doesn't, so she takes her trips.
I admire my mother. She lives alone, still drives, walks well on her own and is very cognitive for her age. She was a single mother that brought up three boys, and she can be proud that none of us ever had a drug or alcohol problem, or were ever in jail, and are all pretty successful. But I know there will be a time when she won't be able to make those trips up here anymore, and then the decision to either move here or stay at home will have to be made. And when that time comes, I wonder what I will do if she decides not to move. For now though, that's in the future, and as the saying goes, worry is a down payment on something that may never happen. So I will enjoy my time with her when she stays with me.
A mother's love is really an amazing thing to watch, isn't it?