Home. Such a sweet word in my mouth. Incredibly thankful to be in the comfort of our home!!
Let me start by saying that the journey home was so aweful that I wondered if I’d survive it. I guess my fears of travel were very real and it played out about the way I had pictured it.
We packed up all our suitcases and took care of final details on Friday evening. We left out our clothes for travel and our toothbrushes for Saturday morning. It really eliminated the stress and pressure of “travel day”. I was really glad we did that, because Saturday morning had plenty of other stress as the boys couldn’t quite get a handle on the coming change. We had breakfast in our condo; trying to finish up the last of our groceries. The nurse and Doctor came one last time to change my bandages give me an injection to help with the pain of travel. They gave me extra gauze and tape and explained how the wound needs to be cleaned and taken care of. Stitches can come out anytime between the 15th and the 25th. I will really miss the incredible care the team has provided during our stay in Mexico! They were nothing but awesome!! They took the time to talk to the kids and John every time they came to our condo; making them feel involved.
Saturday afternoon we took a taxi to the airport and asked for a wheelchair. I knew it would be painful to sit but it would be so much better than standing in line for such a long period of time. I felt like an idiot; receiving so many sympathetic looks and looks of pity. I didn’t appreciate that, but the wheelchair sure sped up the whole process of everything and I did appreciate that. We were checked and taken through security. Then we found our gate. We realized we had about half an hour before boarding so we decided to have some lunch. The kids chose pizza (I think they missed American food), while John and I had a burger. Boarding was supposed to start at 4:00pm and we got to the gate around 3:45pm, thinking it was perfect timing, only to find out that our flight was delayed. I sat and silently prayed for the delay to be only a short one. It was. The plane arrived around 4:15 and we began boarding around 4:45pm. I was one of the first ones boarded (due to the fact I was in a wheelchair) and slowly made my way to my seat at the back. I spoke with the flight attendants to give them a heads up of my dilemma. They said it had been quite bumpy on the way into Mexico and they expected the same on the way back. It made my heart anxious because they required me to stay seated when the seatbelt sign is on. I stayed standing until the door was closed and we started pushing back. I was able to stay sitting until we reached cruising altitude and then got up for a walk to the washroom. It wasn’t long until we reached the turbulence and it became a bumpy ride….
Now for a normal, healthy person the turbulence may not have felt too bad. Our kids seemed quite relaxed. I tried my best to not make a huge deal about it. I just explained it would feel like driving fast down our gravel road at home. They seemed calm. It didn’t bother them at all. I was glad for that because my head was not in a place to be able to deal with anxious kiddos. For someone who has had a recent surgery and is sitting on the wound….the turbulence could be described as AWEFUL!! There was so much pain! I prayed and prayed for strength to endure the journey. The best position I could find was to lean forward slightly as to relieve some pressure on my bottom. The seats are attached to the floor; I am siting on the seat; and therefore….any movement on the floor radiates up to my sensitive rear. When people walked the aisle, I was in pain. When someone dropped something on the floor, I was in pain. There was just so much pain!!
My body was done and I was exhausted when we arrived in Calgary. We were behind schedule due to the fact of our flight being slightly delayed in Mexico. I really didn’t care what happened to me beyond the doors of the aircraft, my only goal was to make it the motel so I could crash. The kids chatted cheerfully with excitement over the fact that we were home! They asked questions that I just didn’t have the capability of answering. I calmly asked them to stop asking me anything and to direct their questions to their father because my brain just couldn’t take it!!
Our shuttle arrived a few moments after we existed the building and drove us to the motel. I made the excruciating walk to our room and crashed on the bed and wept. It was a mixture of pain, joy and gratefulness. I was really hurting but so incredibly thankful to be over with the flight. We slept well and woke up feeling refreshed. Everyone was happy to be so close to home. I had brought extra pillows and blankets with me from home to make my seat as soft and comfortable as possible. I put my seat back as far as it would go and John helped me lay down and buckled me in.
It felt like a very long drive home. My body was really aching and I was so happy when our farm came into view as we drove down our dirt road. We walked into a clean house!! Let me say this, I cleaned our house top to bottom and organized things before we left, but I was expecting a layer of dust on everything. Well, my sister-in-law and mother-in-law had come and cleaned the house on Friday to ensure a dust-free welcome home! I felt overwhelmed by their kindness. It meant so much to me.
Shortly after we got home, my sis arrived, bringing supper and flowers. I call her my sis. I don’t have a blood sister, but I have people in my life that resemble that close relationship that I can only imagine. She was always my favourite cousin growing up and there was a time when we weren’t as close, but it is amazing when you have someone in your life that no matter how much time passes, when you get together again you start where you left off; as if it was only yesterday that you last saw each other. It’s hard to put into words how much I appreciate her friendship. My parents and John’s parents came soon after (also bringing food) as well as John’s sister and her family (bringing baked goods). There’s something about us Mennonites. We bring food. Everything seems to start and end with food. Food is love. I think that’s our love language. Food can do so much. It feels so good to give it. It feels so good to make it. It feels good to eat it 😃(Lol)
Later on we got a text from a friend at church, asking if they could bring some food from the church campout (we are on the Events Committee but had to miss the church campout this time around, and John was really sorry to miss the pig roast they had). John shows me his phone and says “More food, really? What should I say to him?” I told him to say that we had enough food for a while but they were welcome to stop by. Well they stopped in and came in the door with a huge red cooler. My mouth dropped. I said if that cooler was full of food they could turn around and take it back to their vehicle. They said it wasn’t full, they had just wanted to bring by some leftover pig roast and cookies and salad from the campout. We felt so overwhelmed. We felt loved and cared for. It is amazing what it does to your heart when the love of the people around you is so evident in their actions.
We have a full fridge and full hearts. We love you all and thank you so much for your support and care. We thank you for the prayers too. The journey isn’t over yet. There is a long recovery yet ahead of me and I’m sure there will be days of plenty of frustration but today isn’t one of them. The morning was a bit stressful as the boys were supposed to get ready for school but all is well. John stayed home until they were on the bus and then he headed out to work. Little E is chilling with me on the couch. She will take care of me. She’s determined of that. She feels responsible, and it’s the cutest thing!
God is my Rock. He is my helper. He has gotten me through every step so far and I know he continues to be with me.