Plane Coffee Mom

Chatting about Mission Aviation over coffee

Tag: life

Ideal Friday evening

It’s quiet right now, an ideal Friday evening. We’re reading and writing, chatting a little about life between the silences, and simply being.  It’s strange how seldom this happens. Life is busy. We’re running, we’re doing, we’re busy. We have people over and we go out. We are involved and engaged.

And then suddenly, quiet. We value this because we’ve learned the hard way that we need it. All four of us. Parents, grown son, and nearly grown son. We have lived many different ways and survived deep changes. The process has been amazing and beautiful, terrible and painful.

Some of my best family memories are  of  a Sunday morning spent listening to songs chosen by our sons, sometimes crazy songs with round-about lyrics and sometimes straightforward worship music. Terere, a Paraguayan ritual we’d carried with us to Philippines, made its way around our small circle as we sat together. We discussed the music. After a while we’d turn on a podcast we were interested in. When it finished we’d chat about what we’d heard and the week just passed. There was wood carving and drawing and painting in the circle. For a while friends joined our circle and we enjoyed the quiet together.  About the only thing we tried to keep outside the circle was hurry, though it sometimes crept in also.

Sometimes we planned a day of rest only to interrupted by an emergency. Sometimes we’d get a text, or turn on the radio at noon, and find our plans meaningless in the face of urgent need. Each of us had our job in those times– food, overnight bag, phone calls, and weather checks were the norm as we went methodically about the business of doing our best to get Garry out the door to do a medical flight or an evacuation. Our plans were soon forgotten in the rush and noise of interruption. The radio always crackled in the background during those times, its static somehow friendly because we knew it was what allowed us to stay in touch.

There were times we survived too long without quiet, getting by on too little sleep and driven by seemingly endless needs. Conversations and tempers both got shorter. We questioned one another’s motives and wished for more hours in a day and more energy in our bodies. Non-essentials were left undone and efficiency became king. If we didn’t choose to stop, it was chosen for us. Paperwork, sickness, or unavoidable obstacles would put us out of commission and we’d find it was a good place to regroup and get back to basics.

As I sit here writing I ponder the path that has brought us here and I am deeply grateful. I’m thankful we value this, and I’m thankful we do it. And I’m just a bit surprised still at how ideal this evening feels.

Dissecting today

These days feel wearing. New, yet familiar. The wondering, the rush, the chaos. The early mornings and long conversations. The expectancy and the dread. The intertwining of lives and the utter aloneness. Right now the crisis is simply about a place to live and a paperwork dilemma. There are enough supporting stresses and questions to make life feel unstable. These days pull me back to other days.

img_0745Checking in on the radio as the sun peeked over the horizon. News that there was a medical emergency. The dew soaking my bare toes as I went to tell Garry what was happening. Rushing when I headed back inside to get him breakfast and whatever else he needed for the trip. The radio static alerting the boys to a change of plans. Their young faces wide-eyed as they emerged from their bedrooms still half asleep but in need of an explanation. Kevin adjusting his hat as he squared his shoulders and headed out the door to help Garry fuel and load. Kaleb doing his best to lighten the mood as he ran between the hangar and the house carrying bundles in his still-small hands and repeating the message he was supposed to pass on.

A friend visiting from Canada, our time with her shortened when we got a call from friends that their son had a brain tumor. A long drive to the hospital, meeting white-faced parents in the hallway, looking into the scared eyes of siblings, and chasing down food in a still-new city. Doctors and options and near-hysteria. Cold hotel rooms and short nights. Coffee from the best places in town. Long conversations that allowed us all to avoid the issues at hand. Tears as we discussed the realities they were facing. Quick conversations with the boys and our visitor, making sure all was ok at home.

House-hunting in various countries. Run-down apartments and weather-beaten houses. Tiny yards and empty swimming pools. Compounds and complexes. Mobile trailers and abandoned dorms. Security options and neighborhood questions. New friends and adjusting expectations. Carrying babies on the house hunts and then following teens as they surveyed possible homes.

Suddenly, this place is neither scary nor new. It is the familiar reworked. It’s a scene in a book. It’s the unfolding of a story. It’s called life and this demands faith.

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