I am the fortunate father to two beautiful and incredible 17-month-old twin girls. My wife and I have enjoyed a wonderful rollercoaster ride since their arrival: enduring the sleepless nights, savoring the first words and first steps, and watching their personalities develop. Through all of this we have been able to share our experiences with our respective families, except for one very important person - my grandmother, Mavis.
Mavis is a vibrant 94 years old who lives in Jamaica. In the past few years her age has finally caught up with her, greatly limiting her vision rendering her blind in one eye, and limiting her mobility due to a very bad knee. Aside from these ailments, however, she remains very social and if given the chance, will still attempt to shuffle onto a dance floor. Due to Mavis' medical restrictions, however, getting around day-to-day is more and more difficult. More importantly, it is no longer feasilbe for her to easily get on a plane and travel.
Since the arrival of the twins, we took the expected financial hit and have weathered it with no complaints. There have been some tough times where we have had to prioritize between what bills to pay and when, but this is something that just about everyone is facing these days. Luckily, we are finally at a point where we can meet our needs and slowly-but-surely start paying down our debts (primarily mortgage and student loans).
Having spoken with my father who saw her recently, Mavis is as healthy as any 94-year-old could hope to be, but it is clear that every day she wakes is another gift and blessing, and we are unsure as to how many days are to come.
More than anything, I want to give both Mavis and my girls the opportunity to meet each other. I know this would mean the world to Mavis, who has "met" the girls over Skype and requests frequent updates on how they are doing.
To be honest, I don't know how much the girls would remember the trip at their current age. But its a chance to plant that memory into their hearts and minds, and I think that could be invaluable in udnerstanding themselves and their family as they grow older. I remember meeting my great-grandmother when I was around 5-years-old, and I still have the picture in my head of meeting a very sharp and witty, white-haired woman who meant so much to my mother and grandother. I would like our twin girls to have that same opportunity.
The funds would be used for:
- Two coach-class plane tickets from the Baltimore/DC-area to Kingston Jamaica in February.
- My wife and I would fly down with the girls on our laps (on most airlines children under two years of age can fly free on an adult's lap).
- We would spend a long weekend with Mavis and allow her to meet, talk to, and spend time with our girls.
Note: I am currently keeping an eye on ticket prices. As of one week ago, roundtrip tickets for two cost just under $2,000. Today, the lowest price is $1,400. I will be monitoring the price. If at any time the fundraised amount is enough to purchase tickets, I'll discontinue the project donate any excess to charity (likely the SPCA as my family has a love of furried friends).