Belize Vacation Sweepstakes (Essay#37)
It all started in 2001, when my mother was hospitalized for complications from breast cancer. She was placed on a respirator and we were told she still had a good chance of survival. My legally-blind sister, Karen, came up with the idea of taking my mother on a verbal trip to the warm, tropical places that Mom had always wanted to visit. On the computer in the ICU waiting room, Karen began to search for a virtual destination and eventually chose Hawaii. Not to repeat my sister’s destination, I spent a long time researching places, and of course, I chose Belize. I spent hours over the next 2 months describing the jungle, ocean, creatures and villa in which we resided. Ironically, in our dream vacation, we stayed at Chaa Creek. All this precious information gathered from the Internet.
Unfortunately Mom did not survive and she passed away in August of 2001. The travels were to remain fictional. Yet, anytime I reflect on the time leading up to my mother’s death, I smile when I think about our trip together. At the same time, I still yearn to see Chaa Creek and this warm, tropical destination, Belize.
My husband and I have always been committed to the environment and have tried to teach my 12-year-old son about the rainforest and its beauty and importance to the rest of the world. We are an active family: mountain biking, hiking, swimming, and kayaking regularly. We even recently refurbished an old bicycle-built-for-two so that Karen could realize her dream of riding a bike. We were meant to visit Chaa Creek.