Saturday, June 14, 2008

June 14th, 2007

(This is what I wrote in my journal last year.)

Last night, we did okay. With Mason's graduation and graduation party behind us, it was time to turn towards my packing.

Gary did a great job – stil assembling the stroller at 11pm!

After a few hours sleep (who am I kidding, I didn't sleep!) 4:15 am - it's time to leave.

(Think the weariness shows on my face any!?!)

It’s 5;45am and I just made my first flight! 1 down, 1 to go.
Last night, when I checked on line, there were 35 empty seats. At the airport this morning, a flight attendant (flying non-revenue) said she had seen 23 available. There should have been plenty of space.

[Each time we traveled to Guatemala we flew "non-revenue" or on Buddy Passes compliments of our flight attendant friend.]
Now, today, this morning, at the counter, they said they were FULL!
I Prayed! Prayed! Prayed!
And I made it. I made the first flight out. When we had traveled on our 2nd visit trip back in February, we had our seats already assigned before we even left Richmond – all the way through. Not this time. I had to wait for everyone to board the plane, see if there were any seats left…and maybe, I would make it.
So, anyway, I made it! Yay! And poor little seat passenger says he’s been flying since Tuesday (today is Thursday) because of all the bad storms! Oh – that explains the suddenly full plane!

377 days down, 6 hours to go.

I waited at the wrong terminal in Charlotte for 3 ½ hours! At 10:20am, I decided to look around and found my flight at Gate D1 not D7! Ugh!

They were already pre-checking folks. My stomach churned. I just kept picturing “calm” and “opening my hands to receive.” You’re not in control, I told myself.

I asked about flight space. She looked briefly and said, “Oh, you should be fine.” SO casually said, I thought.

I met another traveler who travels to Guatemala all the time. He went and spoke with the very efficient counter rep and came back. "Hmm, she said only 115 of the 138 passengers have checked in. Maybe they waited at the wrong terminal like you. I’m going to go look for more.”

What? Are you kidding me? I called Buff (my flight attendant friend who had given us the buddy passes), she looked online and saw 138 seats taken, and 11 non-revs waitlisted.

Oh, puh-leeze don’t go look for more passengers. Can these numbers really be right?

What happened to 1 seat left and 9 non-rev which is what I saw online last night?

Finally – the counter reps eye’s found mine. “Taylor, right? First class?”
[We always paid the extra ($35) to upgrade to first class, too. If the back of the plane filled up, we couldn't go to first class unless we had prepurchased the upgrade.]

As I stood as the ticket counter, the rep kept banging away at keys, more computer stuff, I kept trying to prepare myself if I didn't make the flight. "Ugh, I can’t get this to work..I don’t know if….okay, I’m just gonna hand write your seat number # 2F.”

I don’t remember much after that – I got in line.

Will she take my ticket? Some confusion about the hand written. I stand there, waiting. No, no you can go.

I start walking the gangway, tears start coming. I am here. I have made it. OMG! My babies! My boys.

Tears, big, ugly tears slide down my face as I board the plane, find my seat, but I don’t sit down…just in case there’s a mistake. Still crying. Ask for tissues. Poor stewardesses.

After a lull, suddenly more people start to board. I think they’ve found all the missing passengers, I’m going to have to leave. I actually hear from the flight attendant, “Yes, I know who, I’ll go tell her.” But they say row 4 and walked right by me.

The doors to the plane closed. My heart breaks, crumbles with the emotional enormity of the situation.

I am in. I am on. I am safe.

I have made it. OMG. The end of my journey. Nothing but motion now. It will all happen. I do not have to do anything. No more calling attorney's and agency reps. Or writing letters to government officials. No more hitting "refresh" on my computer. It’s over.

Tears, choked up, over come. 377 days and today, June 14th, my dreams will come true. They’ll be in my arms. In a matter of hours.

As the plane taxis, I feel the pull get even stronger. The same pull that shattered my inner core when I had to leave Guatemala in Feb. When I had to leave my children behind. Now, the center of my being is being pulled home - like a beacon. Home to my boys.

I wish Gary was here. Or my mom. Or my best friend, Anne. Anyone to share in the joy, in the moment. But I’m glad I’m still doing going, even without anyone by my side. I don’t know how long it’ll take. I don’t know when anyone will be able to join me in Guatemala. But none of that matters.

I sob, I am crying, the ugly cry. I realize it is not going to stop! I just wave the flight attendants off. Please, go tend to your other sane passengers. You have no idea, I’ll just take another glass of white wine. Thank you.

377 days of waiting, of wanting, of hoping.

Praise God, I shouldn’t be on this plane, but He did it!

Stay tuned for Part II....


Heidi said...

I can't wait to hear more! Phew, glad you made that flight too! I love the anticipation of it.

Gwen, Jenny, & Mia said...

Wow!! You are brave to fly on the buddy pass....I wouldn't be able to do that! And I won't even tell you how much we paid for our first class tickets! I could have bought a used car for it!

So glad you did make that flight! Can't wait to hear more!

Cheryl Lage said...

Oh Donna, this is priceless...thank you so much for sharing it! Cannot wait to read part two...and this sentence:

"I sob, I am crying, the ugly cry. I realize it is not going to stop! I just wave the flight attendants off. Please, go tend to your other sane passengers. You have no idea, I’ll just take another glass of white wine. Thank you."

Oh dear Heaven, that had me in empathetic stitches of laughter!

Please wish Gary a Happy Father's Day for me! Look at what this past year has held. :) God is so good.

Tracey said...

I so remember your anguish and feel your pain...but look at us now huh? Luckiest moms in the world I think!!
And how about those Daddys today too!!
Love to all

Suzanne said...

Please pass the tissues......... You are killing me!!!!

Fathers Day last year...we arrived in Guatemala....tired and worn out from the journey and the traveling...Bryan Carlos was to arrive Monday morning....we were only in our room 30 minutes when the phone rang~~~~ "Suzanna--we are in the lobby with the baby!!!!"

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steph said...

Oh wow...a miracle!!! You certainly are brave!!

And...those emotions you describe (lump in throat) are still so fresh!!

I can't wait to

Bobbi said...

Ok, it is wrong to make me bawl too. My stomach was in a know just thinking about it.

You know I hate cligghangers..........

Our Family of 5 said...

I was starting to panic for you about the flight! I was sitting on the edge of my seat! Glad you made it and I can't wait to read part #2!!
Huge Hugs!