My grandmother passed away last weekend. And while she finally found peace at the end of a long road in a nursing home with a quality of life that decreased with each passing year, her deterioration over the week prior and final passing was sad and unexpected. I wanted to be with my family during this time. It was really weird to be so far away. Kind of helpless. Kind of lonely. It was stranger still that I had to actually fly home to attend the services. These are the types of things I didn’t necessarily give a ton of thought to before we decided to move across the country.
I decided to bring Grace home with me. I figured she’s pretty cute and happy and it would be nice for folks to see her. She’d bring the sunshine for the rainy days ahead. (Kind of ironic that a Portlander is bringing sunshine anywhere, right? haha.) She’d keep me company on the long trek back east. Unfortunately, Gavin’s in school full time, so he couldn’t come with us; he stayed home with Dad.
Things happened pretty quickly – Mom Mom passed away Sunday night, I booked flights and we left on Tuesday afternoon. We didn’t tell Grace about the trip until Tuesday morning. While Kenny took Gavin to the bus stop, Grace wandered into my office and wondered aloud about her departure time for school (daycare). I asked her if she wanted to go to Philadelphia instead of school. She grinned ear-to-ear. And said, “For reals?” I said, “Yep!”
Grace: “With Gavin and Daddy?”
Me: “Nope, just me and you!”
She was quivering with excitement at this point. She started giggling as she wiggled around my office as the news settled in. Then she raised her little arm, balled up her fingers into a fist, shook it above her head while shouting, “Girls’ trip!” Hahaha. See – already bringing the sunshine! 🙂 She followed up with a million questions: Wait – am I going to see my fam-a-lee? Yes. Like my whole fam-a-lee? Gram Flannery? Yes. Gram Clark? Yes. Pop Clark? Pop Flannery? Uncle DennisKerriBryanLindsayKevinAmanda? Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes. Even Uncle Rob? Yep. She smirked with this one, threw back her little golden head and said, “Oh my goodness.” Haha. I am quite sure Grace has a mini-crush on Uncle Rob. She wouldn’t talk to him when she was a baby and toddler – only quick smiles before she buried her head into the shoulder of whomever was carrying her. And now that she’s a bit older, she likes to pretend she’s shy but loves to do things like sneaking up on him and patting his leg before running away so he’ll chase her. She did a fist pump and jumped up and down.
Then she stopped. And said, “Wait. Is it just Philadelphia? or Philadelphia first and then Disney World?” accompanied by little chops of her hand to single Philadelphia (one chop) and then Philadelphia + Disney World (two chops.) Hahahaha! Oh my. For the past two years, we’ve done a Philadelphia – Disney World – Portland loop around the holidays. I guess this is now the expectation for all East Coast trips. I explained that it was just Philadelphia. She was sad for a second, but quickly recovered and asked, “How many days are we going?” I said six. She pretend pouted and told me that wasn’t long enough. Then she excitedly sucked in her breath and said, “I have to pack! I need jammies.” Hahaha. I told her I packed for her but I needed her to pack the toys she wanted to bring. She said, “Did you pack me beautiful dresses or jeans?” I told her comfy dresses and leggings to which she replied, “Good. Because I like beautiful dresses AND I like to be comfy. I don’t like jeans.” We know, sissy, we know. And, really?! You are four – why are you worried about this? Hahaha. Packing her toys kept her busy until we left for the airport. Just us girls.
In typical Bridget fashion, I had the wrong time for our flight in my head. And of course – also typical! – I overcommitted and worked before we headed out to the airport. We left at 11:38 for what I thought was a 1:40 flight. I knew we’d have plenty of time. Until I got to the parking lot at 12:20 and pulled out our boarding passes. Holy cow. Our flight was ACTUALLY at 1:15. And boarding was starting in 20 minutes. And I was still in the driver’s seat in my car. Dear heavens. I was now panicked. We darted through the parking lot and into the terminal.
Phew. No lines to drop bags. The woman at the Delta counter told me we were fine and had plenty of time.
Phew. A very short, manageable TSA line. But because I was with Grace, we couldn’t do the full body scanner. Crap. I knew what was coming.
Me and the metal detectors do not get along. I ALWAYS beep. Grace made it through. I beeped. Round two…I beeped. The guy clearly felt sorry for me and sent me through a third time. Beepbeepbeep. Sigh. I told him this happens every time I fly and asked if I could do the full body scanner. Nope. Grace and I couldn’t be separated. I already knew this, but figured I’d ask anyway. I had to have the pat down. Biggest sigh ever. Grace sat in a chair while I was given the TSA business. <Humiliated>. I almost cried because of the pressure of the week…luckily, I held back the tears so I didn’t add more drama to the ridiculous circus of which I was now the star.
We made it to Philadelphia just fine, and set out to see our family on Wednesday after crashing at Uncle Dennis’ for a few hours.