An Update From The Edge

Where do I begin …

Let me first say how moved I have been by the messages of support and encouragement I have received since my last post. I have had weepy moments reading and rereading your kind words and your suggestions as to how I might find some peace have been a great help to me. As I’ve managed to move through panic and a mix of other palpitation inducing emotions, I find I am learning some unexpected lessons in letting go.

I spent time yesterday with two close friends who have been helping me enormously with some of the logistical issues I’m dealing with now. Their kindness, and generosity of time and resources have been such a gift to me and their support has made it possible me to move away from a temporary ‘ Chicken Little ‘ mentality that made me feel a bit crazy last week.

As important as their physical support has been, I also had two separate conversations with them that were illuminating and likely to be life changing. You know how people can say something over and over and you think you’ve heard it, well bless them both for their tenacity and willingness to keep repeating themselves because it finally got through my filter. By filter, I mean the voice in my head that wants to qualify, justify, or explain, instead of considering a different possibility.

This time, I think got it and I’m not sure that would have been possible with being so wide open emotionally from the unrelated issue I alluded to in my previous post.

Despite being in such a scary place of uncertainty last week I am managing well now day by day and doing what I need to wrap things up so I can go home to Cornwall and John. I have had so many offers of help and support so many that I am deliberately not naming names here for fear I might accidentally leave someone out.

To all of you who’ve left me such kind messages, I thank you. You helped me leap to the next place which turned out to be a better one. Not all the issues are resolved here, but I do feel better about what comes next.

xo

Airborne

Miranda went back to Atlanta yesterday flying out on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day has been a challenge for me in many ways over the years and yesterday was no exception. Waiting in a London hotel near the airport, I woke at 2:15 thinking it was 4:00 and got up to sip coffee and make notes in the dark as I tried not to wake my daughter asleep in the next bed.

Working on an idea for a Mother’s Day post which never made it to the blog, I filled several pages by hand on the largest paper space I could find, writing in the back of a book I had brought to read before bed. After checking her flight information online, I could see there was a problem when Delta had her listed as leaving one day later than she was scheduled to fly.

It turned out that the Atlanta flight had a problem the night before and had never left the US. Arriving at the airport early, she was able to get on a flight leaving six hours later out of Heathrow, and Delta shuttled her with the other passengers over by bus from Gatwick to wait for the flight.

She’s sleeping now in the US as I was when she sent a text message last night letting me know she made it back so we haven’t had a chance to discuss her journey. Because she was added to an existing flight, she had to take any available seat which meant she went from sitting on an aisle to being wedged between two people the whole way back.

After she knew she would be on the flight out of Heathrow, she emailed her dad to let him know the changes since he was picking her up in Atlanta. While she was typing, I noticed a man in desert fatigues coming into the airport with more backpacks and duffel bags than one person should try to manage on their own, even if as a soldier he was used to struggling with the weight of things.

I could see he was trying to pick up the various bags to strap them to his body so I went over quickly and asked to help. I didn’t really wait for an answer and picked up the military issued backpack while offering to take the duffel bag he had already lifted on to the front of his body forming a sort of counter to the large load strapped to his back.

He was almost one color with hair a bit like several shades of sand all mixed together matching the color of his uniform and all of his gear. Looking back now, I am surprised he let me help him as often travelers are warned about people offering help with an intention to harm. I guess my looking like a mom alleviated any concern he might have felt along with his travel fatigue.

As I helped him maneuver two floors up to the Delta check-in area, he told me that he had been traveling for two days from Afghanistan and was just trying to get to Atlanta so he could catch the next flight back to his home in Louisiana.

I found myself telling him how I had been in the army too, noting silently that it was probably years before he had been born from the look of him. After putting his bags down at the end of a long line of stressed looking people, he reached out to shake my hand and said, ” Thank you, ma’am,” just a sweetly as could be. I thought about how his mother was probably waiting for him in Louisiana or maybe he was hoping to surprise her by arriving home in secret on Mother’s Day and how wouldn’t she be pleased to see that even as weary as he looked to be, her boy still remembered his manners.

I asked Miranda to let me know if he made the flight and while I haven’t heard from her yet, I sure hope they found him a seat.

*Photograph by Miranda.

Just In Time For Mother’s Day

 

Mother's Day Rose 2009

Mother's Day Rose 2009

Two years ago Miranda asked me the question mothers everywhere begin to hear as Mother’s Day approaches. Always fairly forthright she said, “What do you want for Mother’s Day?”  More time with you…is never what a nineteen year old wants to hear so instead I suggested an activity that might ensure more than a few hours together. I asked her to help me plant some bushes and flowers around the front of the house. We picked out some plants and a small rosebush and dug and watered and settled them into the soil of their new home. If you live in the Atlanta area, you know the last few years have been fairly dry and although I watered and watched over them for a year, when I left for England last May I wasn’t sure they’d survive.

Arriving at the house last week to move the stuff I’d left locked in the attic, I immediately saw that one of the plants had died and the other one looked as if it was not far behind. The next day Miranda joined me to help load everything into a truck to move it to Marietta to sort for shipping to England. Towards the end of our work day I noticed a bit of color along the white picket fence that borders the front yard. Growing around the fence posts was the rosebush. I’d missed it there hanging on bravely through the drought, still green and alive and blooming with the sweetest little miniature roses you’ve ever seen.  It’s interesting how something that seems so fragile at times is really quite resilient and just when you least expect it…surprises you with a strong showing.  

I hope your day was as lovely as mine!