4 boxes of Kleenex. (Wishing I bought more now)
3 blankets and pillows
4 bottles of bubbles to blow out the windows if we get stuck in traffic (or bored…or anxious…or tired)
Strawberries, bananas and grapes
Bread and cheese and maybe a little ham in the cooler–the better to nurture weary travelers on the way home
Crackers and chips and a bag of pretzels
A 12 pack of Orange Fanta and a lot of bottled water
Chocolate in every form
Art supplies for the long long wait.
DVDs for when everyone needs to crash and stop talking.
Hope and love and comfortable shoes for waiting and pacing and waiting some more.

This morning I will drop Max off to school and then walk up the street with all this loot to my friend Dave’s house. There we will load the van and along with Shuttersister Stephanie Roberts, we will pick up the guest of honor, my dear friend Odette. We will drive the 5 hours to New York City, to JFK, to the international terminal where we will pick up her daughters, accompanied home by the gorgeous and unstoppable Jen Lemen.

It is such an honor to be allowed to witness this dream coming true. The night Odette first moved in with us almost 3 years ago, we talked all night about her girls. For the last four years, since she was forced to leave them on a crazy journey, my sister Odette has held their coming to join her in the US up as her truest dream. When her oldest daughter got sick, and she was unable to go home to tend to her, our friend Jen made the journey and has never looked back.

This journey has been the harder than I ever imagined possible. I kept thinking that there was no way it would ever come true. It seemed as though it was doomed to failure from the start, and it simultaneously made me sick to my stomach and hopeful at the same time.

Yesterday, I kept calling Odette on the phone and screaming, “They are coming!” “I know!!!” she screamed back and we would both laugh and jump up and down. It finally hit us both yesterday though it all fell into place last Friday. And today she will hold them in her arms in New York City rush hour traffic, while I blow bubbles out the car window, believing in miracles all over again.

One Response to “Packing List for the Journey of a Lifetime”

  1. On thanks and dreams and miracles that come true - Meg Casey Says:

    […] then after four years of separation, we were making another journey up north, this time to an airport to pick them up because amazingly they were here. (Side note: for a bit of […]