I drove across the state to spend what I thought was one night with my mother, but when I came down with the flu I was there three days recovering. One is never too old to not appreciate the attentions of your mother when you are feeling ill.
As I lay on her couch recuperating, I had the perfect view of The Travel Wall. It is a collection of twenty-five items chronicling her and my father's many travels to all seven continents. World travelers, you could call them.
Some pieces reflect artisan crafts, like the blue and brown African batik depicting giraffes eating leaves off tall trees. Five certificates hang announcing completed adventures like crossing the equator in a hot-air balloon or rounding Cape Horn. There are artifacts like a Swedish copper ladle and Bavarian cow bell and trinkets of a small leprechaun and a koala bear.
But what I enjoyed looking at the most on that wall, these past few days, were the pictures of my parents, standing side by side, around the world. Close together near a fountain with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Beaming smiles in the sun as the Great Wall continued on behind them. They loved traveling together and experiencing each country.
The photos change through Dad's declining health. He is stooped and leaning in on Mom before the Caribbean Island cruise, looks tired despite sitting next to a Kris Kringle figure near the Arctic Circle. Then there are a few items Mom collected when she traveled alone.
Still The Travel Wall reflects much. A history of adventures taken together. A marriage sharing something they both so enjoyed. Their love.