Cruising With Four Generations

The Memories Created Will Last a Lifetime

I am lucky to have my Grandma alive; I know this and cherish it. I am also lucky to have been given the opportunity to travel via Alaskan Cruise with not only her but my mom and daughter as well - four generations of women all on the same Holland American cruise line.

My daughter and I have never cruised while my mom and grandma are veterans. I was excited to make this first time journey and, given my Grandma is almost 92 years old, I knew I should cherish every second and absorb every moment. The four of us left in a taxi from my Grandma’s home giddy with anticipation as to what our adventure may bring.

It stood out that our planet is amazing and needs to be cared for. To see glaciers and humpback whales are sights I won’t soon forget. To experience the sounds associated with watching whales so close and smelling their breath as they swam up to and under our whale watching boat is heart stopping – literally, I thought I died a little with the awful smell of their breath!

My grandma had a corneal transplant on her 90th birthday so her sight (and hearing) aren't the greatest but she was still able to see these magnificent sights. She was able to see my daughter smiling and hear her laughter and giggle to herself when my daughter said "I don't see what the big deal is about a big piece of ice." My Grandma's response "You will understand better when you are a bit older."

My Grandma is a remarkably strong woman and was game for anything in spite of the weather being wet and cold. Watching and laughing as she was hoisted into a four-seater prop plane in a torrential downpour was awesome. She, with her cane in hand and sweater on, was still smiling by the end of our trip. I captured her looking up at the sky while in Glacier Bay and wondered if she was thinking how full her life has been. I hoped she was enjoying our trip as much as I was. I wondered if she was freezing cold and sticking it out just so we wouldn’t be disappointed or, if she needed to lie down.

Memories last as long as you can remember them clearly. Documenting your thoughts and memories will last generations. Being 91 is no picnic but when surrounded by an 11-year-old smiling little girl the laughs are often.

Four generations traveling together showed me the strength we share; it showed me the care and concern of my Mom is still very present and that once you are a mother you never stop mothering. Mostly, I got to spend more precious time with my Grandma knowing that one day her light inside will burn out but this trip and the memories we all created will last far longer.

Artist and Mom of two, Kathleen Tennant creates one of a kind journals, sketch books and canvas art using torn paper, torn images, acrylic paints, inks and various other things. Kathleen’s art often contains an inspirational message conveyed through words or images she creates on the covers of her journals or canvases.

Kathleen is constantly evolving and looking to better herself as an artist by challenging herself to create new and different books all the time.