That sounds like the beginning of a joke. But it is most decidedly not, at least not according to our credit card. We had been planning on going when the kids were a bit older. Hoping that they would be old enough to remember the trip and the family and friends they met while there. Hoping they would be good travelers, less likely to scream and run around like mad little things in airports and plane aisles. We had been planning on starting a separate bank account to tuck money away for the trip. But life has other plans; God knows differently and sort of laughs at our plans because His timing and His plans always win out in the end.
Simon’s mom is sick, that’s the short story. She’s been sick for a while now but her body is no longer doing the things it needs to be doing and the prognosis is not good as they are at a loss for how to fix things, or perhaps more truly, cannot fix them. And that sucks. It sucks for her (especially) but also for everyone involved. Children who will likely not have their mom on this earth come next Christmas. Grandchildren who may not remember visiting their grandmother. It sucks that we live so far away and can’t help more, can’t drop in for visits. But if we did live closer, then the opposite would be true with my side of the family. It’s a no-win situation. When you marry someone from another country, you have to make choices about where to live and when to travel to visit family. The fairest decision (as if there was one in this case) would be living an equal distance from both sides of the family but then no one would be happy or content.
It’s overwhelming to think about the emotional impact of being there, not to mention the logistics of such a trip. And as I said yesterday, trying to fit many years’ worth of special moments and memories into a few short weeks just seems impossible. Knowing it will take every ounce of our parenting patience (and then some more for good measure) to endure the trip with Liam who never stops talking and Jack who never stops running. But it’s going to be so worth it because we’ll get to all be together – Simon’s brother who lives in Jordan is also planning on being there over the holidays so we’ll overlap for a few days and get to meet his wife and beautiful baby daughter.
It’s the trip of a lifetime for so many from the States and we’re blessed to be going for a third time together. But for Simon it’s really just a trip back to his hometown, as if his hometown were Akron, OH and it took a really, really long time to get there (nothing against Akron, but no one dreams of visiting there). But it’s the magic of Australia that I need to keep in mind, the wonder of being in a foreign country. I need to remind myself that even though this wasn’t the plan (and I do like a plan, though not nearly with the same intensity as my husband) there is a reason for things turning out this way and we will ultimately survive the trip and, more importantly, cherish the memories we make while we are there.
It’s a big trip in so many ways.
May God gives us peace, patience, understanding and sleep (and kind flight attendants and fellow passengers who are deaf wouldn’t hurt).
And, we’ll get to see kangaroos… not in a zoo. And that’s pretty awesome.