As I mentioned recently, my husband's Uncle Paul passed away after a short illness recently.
The funerals (two services in two different parts of his home state) were this weekend.
Thankfully, Mark went back "home" right before Christmas to see his uncle in the hospital.
And now it was time for him to go back again.
Wednesday night, the night before he left, Hubby posted a very sweet status update on Facebook.
He stated that he was already missing me (his best friend) and that it
was going to be a tough weekend, even tougher without me there.
And I heard it.
"Be with him..."
So I ran to the computer and looked up flights.
I just shook my head and thought, "This can't happen. We have four kids. I have work. They have activities."
And I fell asleep. Sad but resigned to staying home.
The next morning, I had to say good-bye.
He was leaving.
Leaving for five nights.
It is very rare for us to be away from each other for that long.
Before I rushed out the door for school, he pulled me to him and hugged me.
Not just a quick hug.
It was one of those long, tight hugs. The kind you don't want to let go.
And then I heard it again.
"Go be with him."
At this point my head was spinning.
I kissed Mark goodbye and left for school.
And all morning, any free moment I had, I contemplated and questioned.
wanted to be there. He would be there for me if the situation were
reversed. I needed to be there. I wanted to say "good-bye" too and hug
his aunt's neck.
How was this possible? Was I crazy?
I talked to a co-worker who is dealing with something similar.
She said it so well.
"It is that whisper telling you to go."
And slowly the answers started falling in place.
Monday/school. The kids were "off" of school, but I had in-service.
Other than possibly during a maternity leave, I hadn't missed
in-service. I didn't know if that was "allowed". I sent an e-mail to my
principal asking her what happens in that situation. She was very
understanding and responded almost immediately. "Life still happens,
even on in-service days. Do what you need to do."
Okay, first roadbump crossed.
Next one: The dog and the kids.
I sent an e-mail to my mom. I just told her my thoughts and asked if she thought I was crazy.
Her response was maybe a little crazy but that is what we do for our men.
And then she offered to keep the pup for me.
then I tried to decide what to do about the kids. Leave them here?
There isn't actually a long line of people wanting to keep four kids.
Trust me. I have looked.
So then I toyed with leaving two
here and taking two. I didn't really relish the idea of traveling
completely alone (though normally I love some alone time).
Finally I just decided that all four would go.
Their response: "Why are WE going?" I responded, "I need to be there with Daddy..." And they all said, "But why???" :)
neat thing was that Child 2 was at a sleepover on Friday night. I knew
she would mention we were traveling so on Saturday I made sure to
mention that it was a "surprise" to the other moms there. The kids had
been asking me why it was a surprise. I just told them I knew that Daddy
would tell me not to come even if he really wanted me there. So when I
mentioned it to the other moms, right away one of them said, "I would
do exactly what you are doing...I would just show up." That was more
confirmation for me that I was doing the right thing.
The service would be during "naptime"
so the oldest child could be left in charge of them while we were at
the service. It is much easier to be in charge if two of the kids are
sleeping. Or at least pretending like it. :)
roadblock: my vehicle. It was badly in need of an oil change. I called
my Dad since hubby wasn't here. It took us a while to figure out what
my car needed but finally we did. And the next day, my sweet Daddy took
it for an oil change. Now the car was ready.
Next roadblock: timing.
much as I wanted to, I just could NOT get to the first service. It was
on the coast, a couple hours past where the second service would be.
And it was Saturday morning.
I casually asked Mark
(planning on surprising him) where he would be all weekend. He acted a
bit suspicious but finally laid out the plans.
The only problem was I really didn't know what time he would make it back to his parents' house Saturday night.
I didn't really want to arrive early if they weren't even there since we would have NOTHING to do until they arrived.
I decided we would eat an early lunch then leave, getting us there
around 8. (It is about an 8 1/2 hour trip...at least for me)
brings me to the last major roadblock: my "sensitive" child's diet.
We haven't traveled with him since starting. And we have only eaten out
one time. I knew that we would have to stop along the way for a meal.
Thankfully I had a couple of days to plan.
researched good places to stop (there are some fast food options for
us). And I planned. I packed up several snacks. I put all of the cold
items we might need together. I threw together some quick dinner
ingredients for our time away. And then Saturday morning, I packed up a
cooler...and then we were ready.
I will admit, I was a
bit nervous. I have never driven that whole drive. In fact, I rarely
drive any of it. Mark usually does. So just in case, I printed up
directions. In the end, I just checked my memory against the
directions...I actually kind of knew what I was doing. :)
It was a good trip. And I want to share some things about it later.
But I am going to fast forward 8 1/2 hours from the moment we left.
We were fed. We had gas in the car. And my stomach was in knots from excitement. I was SOOO ready to see my honey.
my dear husband called me twice and sent me multiple texts. I wouldn't
answer the phone because I knew he would hear the kids and/or the movie
on in the background as well as the sounds of the highway. So when I
had a chance, I would text back or get Child 2 to text for me. I played
it cool. And technically I never lied. :) I was also very careful
about my Facebook
updates. I knew if I didn't update, THAT would be suspicious. So I
updated a couple times but again, no lies. I really was enjoying the
spring-like weather...just from inside the car. :)
Just a few miles from his parents' house, I posted one last update on Facebook. I mentioned that "Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and follow your heart." And I "tagged" my hubby in it.
I thought he might see it and start to put the puzzle pieces together.
It would have been really sweet if he had been peering out the door wondering if I was really coming.
It didn't quite happen like that.
He didn't see the post.
We arrived. I ran to the door and knocked. It took a while for someone to answer.
He was sitting on the other side of the room and couldn't see us.
The rest of the family could.
"Oh my..." was all they could say.
Lots of shocked (but a good shock I think :) looks. A few questions.
And then I was in his arms again.
Right where I belonged.
More later about the weekend...