The day of my flight to England (last Monday,) I woke shortly after 6.00 a.m. Just three hours had passed since I had relaxed into the couch cushions for the second time in the night (I hadn’t wanted to disturb Paul in the event I had another restless night.)
I had made an attempt at sleep at 11.00 pm, but lay wide awake for an hour before taking my cue to use this precious time productively. My “To Do before I Leave” work list was waiting for me in the morning so why not make a start? I figured it would take about 2 hours to finish and it seemed like a great idea to ride the wave of wakefulness.
First though, I swept the floor, mopped it and put away the last dishes left on the countertop from Sunday’s big family dinner. Brenda, asleep in her apartment downstairs, probably wondered what was going on in the middle of the night.
By 3.00 a.m., with a sense of peace, I went back to the couch and instantly fell asleep.
Susan dropped by at 8.30 a.m. for a goodbye cup of coffee, on her way to a training session.
She pulled out her flip camera.
“Take this with you,” she said, “And I don’t care if I should never see it again.”
She wanted me to know that she wouldn't feel devastated if some terrible fate befell her camera. How typical of her generous heart and giving nature, I thought.
“I’ve never been to Alvechurch,” she said, “But I feel as though I know Bear Hill and Snake Lane and Tanyard Close as well as if I had.”
She said that she imagined me taking the camera to those places and walking the steep hill to St. Laurence’s church yard, and the black path I used to walk to school, and bringing them home. The possibilities excited me. What a gift to have this amazing tool to take with me.
The rest of the day unfolded busily yet without stress. I was grateful for the two hours of work I did in the middle of the night, for it left me just an hour to complete in the office and then I could start my vacation feeling that the important things were done.
I did some shopping, did laundry and packed, right up until it was time to leave for the airport. We stopped at Honda on the way, to drop off my car for its spring/summer service and snow tire removal.
Finally I was in Paul’s car, being taken to the airport.
I thought back to my rising panic the previous Wednesday evening, when it seemed that there were 5 days ahead with too much to do in such a short amount of time, and I could only thank God for the exercise of “What if,” which changed the course of those days; and for the wonderful way they unfolded instead, step by step.