Today is the day we say goodbye.
Today is the day we give hugs and kisses.
Today is the day we… when did it get so cold?
So when we arrived it was almost 70 degrees. Today, New Year’s Eve, it was in the 30’s. Go figure.
We visited my brother one last time. He had come home the previous evening. Before heading over to my sister’s house I got a text that he would need to go back to the hospital. He had been vomiting for the past 18 hours. This is not good. He doesn’t want to die in the hospital and I understand that desire. But his pain and nausea cannot be managed at home. My poor sister feels like she’s let him down. Nothing could be further from the truth. She (and the rest of my family) have taken such good care of the man. He will NOT die alone. He will die in the grace of the Church. I’m only truly sad that I didn’t get that much time to spend with him and that I will likely not be present when he goes home.
Pray for my brother, please. Pray for peace and comfort and acceptance.
I believe this is our last picture together.
By the way, don’t worry about the picture. He told me “Post this all over the internet.” He’s a down-to-earth sort of guy. He doesn’t front, as they say. I believe in prayer and in the Communion of the Saints. Pope Francis calls this the “Year of Mercy”. The Merciful Father will take care of him. Please keep praying. Annie, I’m especially asking you to bring this one to the Pink Sisters. You’ll know what I mean.
OK, I have to move on…
We headed to the airport. My daughter and I returned the car while my wife and son checked us in at the terminal. There’s a monorail to take us back to the terminal. Ascending the escalator I discovered that my daughter apparently does not like monorails. Five and a half minutes later we alighted the car and went back down toward security. My apologies to the other passengers on that airtrain. She’s not normally like this.
I managed to capture a moment where she smiled on the monorail.
Our terminal has been remodeled in the past few years. We took in the sights and sounds of a beautifully glistening promenade of shops, bars, and restaurants. We passed plate glass windows framing jumbo jets with livery promising exotic travel. England, Germany, Japan. We continued until we reached the end of the terminal.
“Where the hell is our gate?” I asked.
And that’s when we discovered that our gate, gate 88, required a bit more work to reach. At the very end of the hall was an escalator. Above the stairwell, a sign read “Gates 85X-89” with a down arrow.
Great. Oh well, perhaps there’s an exciting new level of shopping that I wasn’t aware of.
No such luck. We reached the bottom to discover a windowless, basement rec-room where the gates were just doors opening to the tarmac. Our plane was a small number. Let me just cut to the chase. We boarded this puddle-jumper and spent four hours in turbulence.
And another where she smiled in our rec-room terminal!
Perhaps I should not have watched that marathon of Air Disasters on NatGeo last night. Then I wouldn’t have been prompted to pour two gin and tonics, glance out the window, and shout belligerently at our flight attendant “Why haven’t the wings been de-iced?! Do you want another Dryden on your hands?” referring to the doomed fate of Air Ontario flight 1363. Thank God I only yelled that phrase in my mind. OK, I said it out loud but only to my wife and the surrounding three rows. I would never tick off a flight crew. They’ve got the keys to the liquor cabinet.
After two hours, this was my tray table. It was a bumpy flight.
At least the dog was happy to see me again…
We landed. My mother-in-law greeted us. We headed home. Wilma and my sister-in-law had prepped our home with food and drinks for a New Year’s Eve gathering. We played games. We put on silly hats. We blew cardboard horns.
5-4-3-2-1… Happy New Year!
My wife and I kissed and I realized once again how much I love my family.
Happy New Year, dear readers. May your 2016 be filled with peace and joy.
Please keep reading.