Home Is Where the Heart Is

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#sol December 20, 2016

My younger son is coming to see me over Christmas and I am sooooo excited. That is a distance of 9515 miles (15313km) or 3 planes. He only gets a very limited number of days off a year and he wants to spend most of them with me- I am honored! He is a planner, so he booked the trip long ago.

He was set to leave Arkansas on Sunday morning. On Saturday night he looked up his reservation only to find that his flight had been changed (no email or text to him). This would make for a tight connection in Dallas, so he called to try to change it. He did, but then a short time later found out that the flight was canceled (bad weather predicted). Now he was getting a bit stressed, so he went back to the phone. The only option that they could come up with was that he would drive almost two hours in the very early morning hours of Sunday to get to another airport. At this point, it was after midnight, so he resigned himself to a night with no sleep. He arrived at the Fort Smith airport and found nothing open- no services at all and nobody working the gates, so he sat.

Eventually check-in opened and he boarded his plane. He had some time to kill in Dallas, so wandered the airport. When it was time to board his next flight he learned that there would be a delay of 1 hour 15 minutes, which would make his next transfer tight, so off he went to see his options. As it turned out the flight was delayed much longer than that and he ended up sitting in Dallas for 10 hours (8 hours of that being a delay) with almost no information from the airline.

Then he was on a 17 hour flight to Hong Kong- arriving at 1:30 AM. Because of the delay they had everyone who had an onward flight claim their luggage. His last (changed) flight was scheduled to leave at 8:30 AM, so again he waited in the airport.

As I write, he is waiting to board that last plane and it looks like it will actually be on time. All in all he will arrive 13 hours after originally planned.

Throughout all this we were in touch thanks to technology. It is a shame that so much of his trip has been spent in airports waiting, but he is almost here! Once he lands I have a bed waiting for him (at “home” where he has never lived), but the airport is an hour away. He will have today and tomorrow to catch up on sleep before we head to the airport again- this time to go to Bangkok and Chiang Mai before we spend a few more days back here in Kuala Lumpur.

The day he leaves I will board another plane to visit my older son in Korea for a few days and have another Christmas with him. I am a lucky mom that I will get to see both of my sons.

During the night there was a terrorist attack in Berlin, the city we called home for 11 years. My heart breaks for those who will not be home with loved ones because of this.

Even though our family is spread out we are happy that we get to spend time together (separately) over this holiday season. Home is definitely not a single place for us, but a state of mind.

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7 thoughts on “Home Is Where the Heart Is

  1. sallydonnelly11

    As I read your post, I thought of the text I got Friday night from my husband who also had a delay at the Dallas airport while traveling on business. While spending extra hours in that airport, he wrote me, “Can’t believe I’ve been in this ugly airport for five hours.” Your post also had me teary-eyed. So much we can control – texting while waiting in airports and flying around the world to find mom. So much we can’t control – flight delays and senseless attacks. Enjoy your holiday and time with your boys. I wish you safe and punctual travels going forward.

    Reply
  2. franmcveigh

    Happy Holidays, Erika, and what fun to have multiple visits this year. There is something fun about extending the holidays across multiple geographical locations even though some of the delays and inconveniences are such time-wasters! Just as you enjoyed your summer in the US, enjoy your holidays with your boys! ❤

    Reply
  3. Raivenne

    Oh, the things we kids will do for our mothers, the things we mothers will do for our kids! Happy holidays with your sond, separately in locations, together in your hearts.

    Reply
  4. Alice Nine

    So happy for you! Your story resonates with me– my youngest son and his family live overseas. I won’t see them this Christmas, but we have purchased their tickets for an extended spring-summer visit. Well said: “Home is definitely not a single place for us, but a state of mind.” And I too am thankful that separation can be softened with technology.

    Reply

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