Please excuse today’s blog entry as it’s not my normal post with pretty pictures and happy travel reviews but it’s today’s truth. This post would’ve remained in my personal journal before this trip. But, since you are along with me on this ride and have asked for the truth, here you go….
Today I am feeling trapped by this RV. Suffocated by our cross country campground tour. My best friend Mary’s Mom died and I’m feeling overwhelmed not being there. In upstate New York, I am much closer in distance to their home in Maryland than normal, but yet I am hours away from an airport and honestly just can’t figure out how to get there before her Mom’s service, which is 24 hours from now.
Who cares about touring Lake Placid at a time like this? Who cares about any of it? My friend’s Mom passed away and I need to be there. I need to get there to hug her and cry with her and tell her it’s so not fair in person. She tells me that it’s ok and that she understands if I can’t make it. She’s giving me an “out” as she usually does, but something in me isn’t buying it.
Our family has missed numerous celebrations to do this trip. Celebrations we would’ve really liked to have been at. We’ve missed Bar Mitzvahs, Graduations, parties and weddings. All the fun celebrations that a normal summertime brings. I even turned down a keynote speaking opportunity for a blog conference that I really wanted to do. Just stay focused. We committed to this trip and everyone understands. But, today I just want to be back in my normal existence where I could’ve just jumped on a plane from Phoenix to Baltimore without thinking twice. Instead my head has been spinning trying to figure out how to get to Mary from here. So close yet so far. After researching my options for hours last night, I decided to sleep on it and knew that God would lead me in the morning.
When I woke up today, I decided that I wasn’t going to leave my family to drive to Lake Placid without me. I decided that it all felt too much to figure out so I called Mary in tears to tell her that I just couldn’t make it. I knew deep in my soul that I should be there and that I want to be there, but I didn’t know how to make it happen. I’m not in my element. I am in the middle of a campground, in an RV, in the pouring rain, in the middle of our epic trip. I just can’t make it. She’ll understand.
With tears streaming down my face, I made the phone call to tell her I wouldn’t be there. She picked up the phone without a hello and sobbing said, I am not ok Amy. I am just not ok. I keep telling everyone I’m ok, but I’m just not. Then, there was nothing but tears between us. God had spoken and I would find my way to her. My family would understand and would be capable to continue on a few hours and set up home in Lake Placid without me. They would have to.
Mary and I have been pals since we met in 4th grade. Her family moved to Maryland our junior year of high school and we vowed to remain the best of friends. We have lived on different coasts for 20 plus years now but have remained close despite the distance. We have seen each other through first crushes, first and second marriages, first babies and now a first death of a parent. I will be there. I will see you through this as well my friend.
I walked back into the RV and said to my husband. I have to go. Please help me make it happen and just book the closest train station to get me there. And he did. The stress of getting on an airplane just made the relaxation of my friend Amtrak more appealing for my travel today down to Baltimore. The price was the exact same for a one way ticket as the flight on Southwest and I could’ve been there in an hour and a half instead of 6 hours, but I needed this time to decompress. I also thought that dropping me off at the Albany train station would be easier with the big rig than an airport! Plus, I didn’t bring a suitcase or any travel sized toiletries along in the RV so it felt nice to just throw stuff in a bag without thinking about how many ounces it was or how sharp it may be. Another Amtrak plus.
Then I realized I didn’t even bring along an outfit for such an occasion. When I skimmed my closet, I came to a dress I picked up in an Omaha boutique. I had pictured wearing it out one night on a dinner date with my husband, most likely when we returned to Arizona. It’s the only piece of clothing I’ve bought along the journey so far. Who knew it’s what I would now be wearing to my best friend’s Mom’s funeral.
Today I took a detour from our family’s planned trip to tend to a friend. To say goodbye to a sweet, loving woman who’s house I grew up in and to help bring comfort to her daughter. I think my kids can learn from this just as they have been learning about our countries history and landmarks along the way. Close friendships and loving relationships are life’s most precious gifts. May we always remember to take the time to invest in those who have brought joy, love and happiness to our lives. I’m on my way friend.