I started preparing my suitcase for the trip. Though I have traveled quite a bit, this time seemed to weigh more heavily on my heart than other work-related travels. My husband had been wearily anticipating me having to leave months before. I, of course didn’t have too much time to think that far ahead. However, it was now finally time for me to focus on the task at hand; packing my bag, preparing the house and preparing my children for the departing moment. We also have a new puppy now; Grady and though he is already 10 weeks old, he is ONLY 10 weeks old and only 1 week at our home now before I had to leave him. I have enjoyed every single moment with Grady as I acclimated him to our home, took him on walks, played with him in the yard, encouraged proper potty training, got up to let him out in the middle of the night and of course, cuddle time. Now, by leaving I felt I was disrupting not only his routine, but mine and of course my husband’s.
As I packed, I worried about the boys, about Grady and about my husband. There is so much going on this time of year; events at the school, baseball games, karate, professional workload and of course, the new puppy. “How could I be leaving?” I kept thinking this to myself and though my husband never said it out loud to me, I knew he was most likely asking the same question.
My three boys brought me to the airport on Sunday afternoon. I looked back at the car after giving big hugs and kisses and I saw their sweet smiling faces and their hands feverishly waving goodbye to me. The hustle and bustle to get me to the airport on time was now over and I was there…on time. I had to walk away now. And for this moment in time, I could almost hear a piece of paper tearing in my head as I walked closer to the airport door and farther away from our car. I looked back again and they were not really looking anymore and the car was starting to move away from the curb.
I went through security and my friend and colleague had just gone through the line as well. We walked to the gate together and boarded the plane. I sat in my assigned seat near the rear of the plane. Suddenly, something dawned on me. I was alone. I knew I was obviously sharing close quarters with the individuals in my row and the rest of the plane for that 3 hour flight, but I was alone with responsibility only for myself. I had a few moments to think, to listen to music, to watch a TV show and to read a book! Throughout these activities, I wondered why I haven’t somehow incorporated some of them into my regular routine. Then I began to miss my family even more than just a few minutes ago. I missed the sound of their laughter, I missed the soft cuddle from Grady and I missed sharing all of what I was experiencing with my husband. I then realized only thirty minutes had passed since the plane took off out of Bradley International. After reading a book about Cavachons and watching a couple of shows, I decided to continue another book that I had started a few months ago; ‘Magical Journey’ by Katrina Kenison. She is one of my favorite authors and an inspiration to me as a writer and a Mom. This alone-ness, this missing, this empty space in time was too overwhelming for me in row 27 of the quiet airplane – hummmmm. I read a few pages of Katrina’s book about how much was now missing from her life. The things she had once taken for granted, the busyness, the craziness, the quick goodbyes, the slamming sound of feet pounding up and down the stairs, making lunches, bed time routines, showers instead of baths, etc. I could only read a few pages before the tears were running too fast for me to contain in a nonchalant swipe of the cheek. How clear my thoughts became in this quiet.
The reason for this work trip to Arizona was for myself and my colleague to train another healthcare organization in the areas of Facilitation and Problem Solving. We trained for two days, two different groups, a total of sixty management professionals. I always enjoy training and the more I do it, the more I love it. This experience was no different. There was a moment as I was standing in front of the room that I felt this overwhelming warmth take over my body from my toes to the top of my head. And though it was over 100 degrees outside, it was not warm in the room. After the warmth, I felt chills run over my skin like a wave. Even the description I just wrote out took longer than the actual experience. This moment of feeling like I was right where I was supposed to be. I was in a role that fit me and I was having fun. I was blessed enough to not only get this opportunity to do something I love, but to also realize during the actual experience how much I truly wish this was my regular job all the time. A clarity moment in the midst of teaching a class. How clear my thoughts became right then.
Sometimes it just feels right to be with someone who understands your current life circumstances. Sometimes, you wouldn’t be able to get through without the right person with the right words at the right time. Then sometimes those friendships dissolve; maybe not completely, because there’s always Facebook. But even Facebook doesn’t keep friends together if there are no other common elements between you anymore. Tonight, I was blessed enough to meet up with a friend I have not laid eyes on in 19 years. We were extremely close after meeting at the Walt Disney World College Program many years ago. We kept in touch for a while until life circumstances pulled us apart. Thanks to Facebook, we found each other again 19 years later. And though so much has happened to us in our lives including marriage and children, my heart melted the moment I saw her smiling face. I hugged her like I was never going to let go. We have done plenty of virtual updating since last year, but once our arms were wrapped around each other, I felt our connection bond even stronger than before. We talked as if not a moment had passed. I watched her children play and giggle just like my own would do. I laughed with her and her husband about life and silly events that have taken place over the years. The time zipped by us like a speeding train and it was time to go before we knew it. And after hugging her husband and her children, I hugged her a million times more and I walked to my car with a heavy heart. Driving back to my hotel, I felt overjoyed and blissful thinking about how I had this wonderful friend from a long time ago whom I missed and thought of so often and the universe must have figured we needed each other again. The moon was bright, lighting my way back safely along the highway and a song I had never heard before came on the radio; ‘Hold You Up’ by Shane Harper. How thankful I felt for reuniting with such a dear friend and for the time in the car to reflect on just how amazing this was.
The excitement is tickling my heart tonight as I prepare for my return home tomorrow. I can hardly wait to reach out my hand and feel little fingers and palms grabbing it right back, my husband’s sweet kiss and cute little Grady licks on my cheek. <3 I look forward to getting back to our routine at home; but trying to make sure those goodbyes are not as quick and rushed before the boys run off to the bus stop, soaking in every story and trying my very best to be present. And that will be my ultimate clarity.