It’s 10:49 pm Saturday and boarding time is twenty minutes after midnight. I just realized that I didn’t have anything for dinner, and I don’t see a food concession anywhere near me. Soda? No luck.. in any case, my carry on luggage is too cumbersome to lug around, so I’m staying put. I saw a Samsung Mobile Charging Station that wasn’t surrounded by other users, but the two seats closest were occupied. So I’m across from the charging station, and I would rather not incur the ire of the others around me by laying my power cord across the aisle, so I’m hoping my battery holds. (It should.. besides, I have the power cord to use on the plane, so not that I have to save my juice.)
That’s nervous talk. Yes, I am on my way home. While all my previous trips were exciting to me and full of anticipation — this is one trip where I have butterflies in my stomach and I find myself overcome by anxiety. Angelo was tearful earlier as we said our goodbyes — and he’s really the hardest thing to leave here in New York. Alan and I have been apart longer due to his business trips, but this is the first time I’m the one leaving instead of the one staying home.
And of course the biggest source for trepidation for me is what I’m going home to.
I’ve received some good news that Dad’s situation has started to improve. It doesn’t mean he’s well, and I don’t want to be overly optimistic, but I’m thankful that he is not suffering as much as he was earlier this week when he had 4 IVs, and he was breathing through a ventilator and he had a tube running up his nose. (Thank you for all those who are praying with us for his improved health.) In any other situation, the appearance of positive developments like this would have caused me to rethink my plans — but not this time. And it’s not even the “change” fee in the ticket that a cancellation of my trip would entail, but I feel as though I got the message loud and clear to go — reaffirmed many times over in different ways and by different voices. I had made my mind up to go — and while the sense of urgency has abated some, the need is as strong as ever.
I’ve prayed over this and friends have prayed for and with me — and even just the thought of having resolved to go home to see my Dad has helped to give me strength to deal with all that’s been happening to him.
Angelo has called me twice already, his voice heavy with emotion. He’ll be fine. I’ll be fine, too, but it’ll ake me a little longer to adjust to being away from him.
I feel my body starting to cave in to the excitement surrounding this trip. I did some last minute errands — bought Dad some tools I thought he might need.. I also bought some supplies for the house. In fact up until I hit the shower before leaving the house tonight, I was cooking some tinola for at least 5 meals of Angelo’s.. (Like me, he can have the same thing day in and day out for every meal until he tires of it.)
Beyond Angelo, I’m spacing out. I told him I had gotten him a vest earlier like his Dad’s which he could wear on chilly days over a short sleeved t-shirt — and he asked me innocently what made me think of him.. I told him I always think of him first — even before I think of myself. It would’ve been great if Dad could see him with me, but if we are lucky, they might yet get that chance to see each other again when we come home for Alan’s high school reunion end of this year.
Right now, all I can think of is I’m thankful that I got the chance to actually take this trip.. I feel truly blessed that I will see Dad again, whether it is the last time or not.. I feel blessed to be with the family I miss as I have started my own. I feel blessed that I have friends who stand by me and my family through this crisis.
See you soon, Dad..