Last Sunday, when I wrote about – Does it ever get easier? – I thought that I had officially turned the corner on our loss. While I knew I would still think about that little child, I felt like God had given me “Peace Beyond Understanding”, and I was on the up-side of that swing.
Boy – Was I WRONG!!
As I mentioned before, I started a new job in August that would require significantly more travel. However, my first few weeks on the job required no travel as most of my counterparts were in various parts of the country. So, I took the opportunity to work from home. While I knew that would change, I don’t think I prepared myself for this past week. Let me share.
Sunday night, after a full day of church, soccer, meals, etc., I started to prepare for my upcoming week. And, considering I hadn’t traveled for 5 weeks, I think my thoughts were that I should jump in with both feet, into the deep end, with weights on my ankles! Here was just my travel itinerary:
- Monday: • Fly to Dallas • Overnight in Dallas
- Tuesday: • Fly to New York • Overnight in White Plains
- Wednesday: • Car from White Plains to Manhattan • Overnight in Manhattan
- Thursday • Fly home (or at least I was supposed to fly home – more on that later)
If my travel schedule wasn’t enough, let me add the additional details… Sunday evening, as I was starting to pack for the trip, I realized that I still had some maternity clothes mixed in with my “regular” clothes. That probably isn’t too unusual as I should be 7 months pregnant, right?!? Well, I decided that it was time to put all the clothes back in the bin so that I wasn’t faced with them every time I walked into my closet. That’s a good thing, right? Not so much.
I couldn’t help but feel the finality of our decision to “not try” anymore. For the past 8 years, we had been trying to start and grow our family. Packing the maternity clothes away hit me in a way I hadn’t expected. It was like I was re-mourning the loss of our baby. And, I was trying to grapple with this new world we had chosen.
WAVE 1: Did we make the right choice? With tears in my eyes, I finished cleaning the closet, packing away the maternity clothes, packing my suitcase for the trip, and trying to focus on all that we have. We have been very blessed!!! We get to hold three amazing kids! Why am I so sad?? I had trouble sleeping because I had an early flight Monday morning.
So, on little sleep, I get ready, grab my suitcase, and head to the airport. Something you might remember is that, right before we found out that we lost the baby, my husband and I were on a work trip where I told several friends / colleagues that we were expecting. That was the middle of April. And, when we found out about the baby, we didn’t make a mass announcement of our loss. So, while I thought I was turning the corner, not only did the closet cleaning hurt, but now
WAVE 2: I am faced with friends without words because they have questions. And, if you have been in that situation, you find yourself comforting your friends because they don’t know what to say, they feel bad, and you just want the conversation to STOP!!
“No, it’s okay. Really! We are okay. I should have told you. So sorry! Really, we are good. Thanks for caring.”
I wish there was something I could say or do to stop anyone from having to go through that. Both for the person who suffered the loss, and for the person asking the question. Everyone is uncomfortable!
Well, I got through the rest of Monday and Tuesday and boarded the flight from Dallas to NYC. Wednesday, as I prepared for our meeting, I realized that I was still very sad. And, I realized that part of my sadness was also dealing with:
WAVE 3: My life is now going to consist of this type of travel – being away from home several days each week. And, while FaceTime & Skype help, there is nothing like kissing your kids goodnight, or snuggling them in the morning. Deep Breath… You can do this…
So, I proceeded to get through Wednesday, which was a tough day for business reasons. The project I am working on had deliverables that just didn’t meet the mark. And, while I was not solely responsible, it is my project, so in essence, I am. Ugh! I just need to get through this day.
As I got into the car to Manhattan on Wednesday night, it hit me. In my busy-ness, I failed to realize that I was driving into Manhattan on September 11th. How did I miss that???
WAVE 4: I was overcome with emotion of what that day means: all the lives that were lost, all the tragedy, all of the pain, all of…EVERYTHING… There was a definite quiet in Manhattan that I am not used to. I travel to NYC quite often, and while there were still taxis honking and people talking, there seemed to be a stillness, a quiet. People were moving more slowly, being more patient,… I don’t know how to describe it. It was just a different feeling than I have ever had in the city.
After dinner, I settled into the third hotel of the week, and found a quiet moment to focus on the positive – I get to go home and see my family tomorrow! Let me focus on that and get some good sleep. And, I did. For the first time all week, Wednesday night was a good night. So, Thursday should be a good day, right?
Well, let’s see… Thursday was a FULL DAY! We literally had one 15-minute break – all day from 8am – 5pm. While part of that was good, it kept my mind off of being sad; the other part of it was, well, CRAZY! And, from a business perspective, it was not a good day. Long story… Let’s just end it with…Not Good. So, I get into the car and head to the airport. It’s been a long week, and all I can think about is giving my kids a kiss when I get home. They would be asleep, but I would be able to kiss them.
WAVE 5: Due to the weather in the NYC area on Thursday evening, almost all flights out of the NYC area were cancelled. To be more specific, my flight was cancelled. And, to make matters worse, since over 70 flights were cancelled, my next option was either a direct flight at 9:15pm on Friday night (getting me home at 11pm) or a connecting flight through Memphis, getting me home at 10pm.
When will this stop?!?!?!? Breathe… you can do this… And, you signed up for this…
Ok. I booked myself on the Memphis flight, and learned of two other direct flights that may be options for the next morning. So, I needed to be back to the airport by 7am at the latest. Ok. I can do that. Now, finding a hotel. Let’s see, there were 70 flights cancelled… All of the hotels near the airport were booked, so back to the city I go… I find a room at a good rate, set a wake-up call, ensure I can get a taxi in the morning at 6am, and go to bed.
WAVE 6: First flight option is oversold and I’m #7 on standby. Oh, did I mention that one of the morning flights were also cancelled because the flight into NYC didn’t make it due to the weather. No plane to take anyone back… Tears are rolling down my eyes…
WAVE 7: Second flight option is oversold and I’m #3 on standby. And, the flight I am booked on (through Memphis) is taking off 15 minutes after this direct flight…IN A DIFFERENT TERMINAL!!! So, I’m running through the airport trying to see if I can get on the direct flight – and needless to say, that was also a BIG FAT NO!
So, I am walking back to the other terminal to get on my flight connecting through Memphis, and I cannot stop the tears from flowing. What am I going to do? Our son has a soccer game Saturday morning, and team pictures, and we have family coming into town, and…
WAVE 8: What did I sign up for? Why did I do this? I am a mom. I need to be at home, with my husband and my kids. I am going to miss EVERYTHING!!! What am I doing? How can I get home…NOW! I feel so helpless… Tears…
When I get back to my gate, the gate agent who I had spoken to earlier (because I wanted to know exactly how close to departure could I return to not lose my seat on this flight) saw me and saw my eyes. She called me up and asked if I was going to Indy. She looked up alternate flights and found a direct flight, leaving JFK, at 2:55pm – meaning, I could be home by 6pm!!!
LIFELINE: God knew I was at my end. I was spiraling because I was trying to do it on my own. I was praying for help and guidance, but, truthfully, I wasn’t open to receiving anything. And, just when I couldn’t take any more, God was right there. He was right there with an answer.
I jumped in a taxi, headed to JFK, boarded the plane and landed in Indy…EARLY!
I am still praying for additional guidance – what was I supposed to learn from last week? Here is what I know:
- My blog & closet cleaning last weekend helped to prepare me for my conversations on Monday about losing the baby. Without those two things, I wouldn’t have been prepared to have those discussions. God did that!
- When things get rough, I need to seek God first. Not after I have failed, but before I even try. I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me.
- And, God knows what I can handle. He made me. He knows me better than I know myself. And, He knows when I truly need His help (even if I am too stubborn or too clueless to ask). Right then – He throws a LIFELINE!
I thank You so very much for Your Love and Forgiveness! Please help me to seek You first, always. And, even in the roughest of times, I know You are always there with me. I Love You!