Family

Thirty

Normally while I travel I tweet and post in group discussions (with friends and family) throughout the trip.This time though, my trip is a secret from one of my brothers; today is his thirtieth birthday and I am visiting as a surprise.

Rather than sharing my travel thoughts in the normal format, I’m collecting them here:

  • I’m currently sitting on a plane at SeaTac airport. We were boarded before the replacement pilot arrived (apparently the original pilot was snowed in).
  • It has been a fun wait though … complete with a guy who had no concept of personal space rubbing his butt on my arm and practically standing on me while adjusting his bag in the overhead compartment.
  • There should be separate flights for inexperienced, oblivious, and jack ass passengers. 
  • Pilot has arrived! We are out of here. I expect to be asleep before takeoff.
  • I can’t wait to give Byson his card and gift from K (our toddler niece).
  • Pro tip: flushing the airplane toilet makes less of a mess if you close the lid first,  and the next person to use the restroom (me) weir think you’re a complete ass.
  • 5:08 pm eastern, at the gate.  Let me off the damn plane so I can see my nephews!
  • It’s weird being at BWI and not for work…
  • Mrs Byson is amazing. Great mother, perfect partner for my brother,  and a wonderful person all around. I’m glad I got to have some extra time with her.

The boys were incredibly well behaved for being stuck in the car for five hours, and Byson was sufficiently surprised. 

It’s now stupid early eastern time, and I can’t sleep. The jetlag will be strong today.

Dear 2016, Thank You.

Dear 2016,

Thank you.

I really do mean it. I know people have been pretty hard on you. To be honest, you have gotten to me at times too, but I have come to realize that you haven’t been all bad. In fact, you were good in a lot of ways.

Thank you for the letter that pushed me so close to the edge that it helped me see that I needed to change, and that I couldn’t do it alone. Thank you for helping me see that my idiosyncrasies mean that I’m normal, not that I’m broken. Thank you for helping me remember to take care of myself and showing me the strength to stand up for my needs.

Thank you for helping me and Hubby grow closer, love more deeply, and be better for each other than ever before. Thank you for helping us both be patient and hopeful.

Thank you for showing me the strength of my friendships and for helping me realize how many good friends (both near and far) I am fortunate to have. Thank you for the friends who said the right thing at the right times, even though they didn’t know all the circumstances. Thank you for the friends who made me laugh when I was down. Thank you for the friends who always listened, and were always brutally honest. Thank you for the friends who chose to confide in me.

Thank you for helping me realize that I really am more extrovert than introvert, even though I’m truly somewhere in between.

Thank you for the opportunity to fly cross country to see a movie with friends, for the spur of the moment decision to do so, and for great friends making the trip entirely worthwhile.

Thank you for challenging work assignments,  opportunities for professional growth, and great coaching.

Thank you for work trips to the east coast which allowed me to visit my brother’s family and reconnect with a cousin that I never really knew. Thank you for my nephews getting to know my face, asking to have Skype calls with me, and being excited to Skype with me even when they’re too tired for anyone else.

Thank you for breaking my mom’s leg. I have hated seeing her pain, but her strength is an inspiration. Thank you for my weekly visits to help care for her, and for the time with family that my visits have helped make happen. Thank you for helping me become my grand-niece’s second favorite aunt, and for toddler hugs and giggles.

Thank you for helping me be comfortable opening up to my sister.

Thank you for kicking me in the right direction to find the next stage of my career; I have high hopes.

Thank you for more opportunities to see my dad; especially after I disappointed and hurt him by missing my uncle’s funeral. Thank you for helping me realize why loss is so exceptionally difficult for me to handle.

Thank you for a two week vacation with hubby, and being able to truly relax and focus on each other for a while.

Thank you for helping me appreciate what I have, and giving me the desire to put this all into words.

2016, you have been a tumultuous, unpredictable, and emotional experience, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

One Year

If you’ve been here before, you probably know that two of my uncles were in a bad motorcycle accident a year ago. They were both lucky to have survived the accident.

The uncle who was airlifted to a hospital in eastern Washington has recovered relatively well (I never did go visit).

A year ago, my sister and I visited the hospital in Seattle to visit the uncle who was airlifted there. It was all I could do to keep from running away. I carefully kept my composure while we were with him (he was in a coma at the time), and when we walked away I lost my control. My sister had no idea how hard it it been for me to go to the hospital, or how Christa’s death had affected me. We talked, and it helped. But I still could never talk myself into driving to the other side of the state to visit.

He miraculously made it through the first several days. After a couple weeks he was transferred to a hospital closer to home, and then to a rehab facility. It has been a year of hope and fear for the family, being there for my uncle (who has down syndrome as well) trying to help him heal and keep his spirits up without putting their own lives completely on hold as well. There have been complications off and on, and recently more on… Until today.

Today my uncle finally lost the battle to recover from his injuries.

My uncle that taught me patience. My uncle who taught me sign language. My uncle who taught me that there is no shame in an adult showing the joy of a child.

I will miss you Uncle Herb.