Just when I thought her flying days were over, she decided it was now or never, and she would make the cross-country trip to meet her great-grandchildren!
Mechanical difficulties with the plane caused a 3 1/2 delay and thus began her perilous journey!
At 88, a full day of flying takes a lot out of a gal, and when she landed, she said she needed a hamburger. Immediately.
Thankfully, there's always a Cracker Barrel nearby, and here we are getting warm by the fire:)
So far, so good.
(On a side note, this next picture was taken at our local Cracker Barrel just a few days later. I thought my mom was excusing herself to go to the restroom, but no, she walked over to the table of men and held a board meeting. I'm not sure what she was saying, and she has no fear of the ridiculous. Soon, all heads turn my direction, and I can't decide if I should wave and claim her as my mother or get busy with the peg board game to see if I can achieve anything above Eggnoramous level.)
Here is another happy moment before the peril continues: The first of the great-grandchildren to arrive for the family reunion.
But then, this happened: Peril!
An emergency room visit ends with a diagnosis of pneumonia.
Her cough is deep and raspy. Her days are spent in bed with low-grade misery.
I wonder if the trip was too much for her.
I have moments of guilt and selfish regret.
But she is already reminiscing about the trip, and the wonderful family time she has had.
A couple of things stand out to her.
An invitation to lunch at my sister-in-law's home and a get well card from my church.
I'm tempted to say "It's the little things" but a little time offers a new way of seeing things.
Now I'm wondering when the little things became big things.
It's no small thing to take the time to prepare a meal, set the dining room table and carve out the time to extend hospitality.
If I asked my mom if she remembered the meal she had at my sister-in-law's, I doubt she could.
I think what she is describing is something like the quote of the late great Maya Angelo:
"People may not remember exactly what you did, or exactly what you said, but they will always remember the way you made them feel."
Ditto with the card from my church. It stands on the dresser, and she comments on it often.
I'm finding myself so thankful for family and church family who have made such a loving impact on my mom.
These small (big) things add up to something.
It's a great medicine this feeling of being remembered and to feel yourself among the included. I'm feeling it closely related to Jesus's teaching on giving and receiving. And for that I am grateful.
The healing has begun.
The return flight has been changed three times, but I'll pick these lines of Saint Theresa's prayer to dwell upon:
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
A lot of things happen in a lifetime, but it all begins and ends with family,
So let it be...