Helga's Adventures In Whereverland
Organized by: Thomas Welcomer
March 01, 2017
EVENT DATE Apr 09, 2017
I have a Mom like many others. She has a smile on her face, a kind heart, and memories that are fading. The upside of her condition is that, for the first time that I can remember, she is enjoying life. She has forgotten the bad times, recalls small pieces of the good, and finds a reason to laugh much of the time.
I ALSO have a Mom like few others. She came to the United States at 20, not able to speak the language, and in a very short time, I was born. She had to raise me alone, since my Father was absent. With her lack of education, she only could get a low-paying job that sometimes didn't leave enough food in the cupboards to make herself a meal. She made up for it by being a dependable and diligent worker. She eventually found a better position and helped make Maypo cereal for over 30 years.
The joys in her life now are animals (even a groundhog!), kids (no I haven't given her any grandchildren yet, and at 52, it ain't looking good!), and traveling. She is happiest when the road is passing under us and she is watching out for horses, motorhomes, deer, waving at truck drivers and spotting an out of state license plate.
We have recently gone to a few places she never has been. The time together has been special, but it made me realize that the places she REALLY wants to go to are going to be quite expensive. She is not poor or destitute, but she doesn't have the kind of money it takes to go on these adventures, even though we travel very conservatively. No 5-star hotels. No exotic meals.
She mentions often about wanting to see her sister in Germany who has recently went into a senior care facility. I know we should fly overseas since she only has one sibling left
out of 4. The last time we went across the big pond was in 1988, when the family was intact and healthy. I can't imagine how hard it is to be away from all of your relatives for decades at a time. Not being at any of the funerals. Not going to any gatherings. Losing touch of her nieces and nephews.
The Big Trip is a cross-country drive. Seeing the Pacific Ocean and as much as we can, to and from Pennsylvania. The list of cool places to see is endless, but on an epic cruise like this, the pleasure will be getting there. The Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Mt Rushmore, and so many other sights await us. This campaign was created to fund these trips.
I post (hopefully) amusing updates to facebook. (using the same title, “Helga's Adventures In Whereverland” if you would like to follow along!) When I read them to her, she just laughs and shakes her head. The ironic part of her dementia-like condition is that she now enjoys things she didn't in the past. Taking pictures of her years ago was NOT something she wanted. She definitely said NO to riding a motorcycle. She wouldn't consider meeting so many strangers like we have in the past few months. She is a changed person, and in many ways, a better version of herself.
Yes, of course there is a downside. She used to cook like a respected chef. No more. She can't even use a microwave now. She used to be able to do laundry better than the pros. Now she wouldn't even know how to turn on the washer. We used to talk about her life as a child, in Germany after the war, but now she only brings up her Father. He left when she was very young.
She doesn't know my name but knows I'm her son. She doesn't recall friends or relatives, since they have been lost to the fog. So much of her life has vanished, and yet a smile is constantly on her face. She seems content to lead a simple life and is always looking forward to the next ride. I want to give her the best adventures possible. The end-date for this campaign is her birthday. Will you help? If not a donation, then sharing our story? Thanx in advance....
on facebook /tom.welcomer
To view the Crowdrise account, please go to -
I want to give her the best adventures possible. The end-date chosen is her birthday. Will you help? If not a donation, then sharing our story?
Thanx in advance!