So I flew back to Costa Rica last Tuesday, thinking I was saying good-bye to friends and family for 5 months. Then Friday night, Mom called to say Grandpa had a stroke and that I should consider going back to Illinois to be with family. On Saturday, Mom called and told me to buy a ticket, so Sunday, I was back on a plane to Peoria, Illinois. Four airports, three plane rides, and 2,500 frequent flyer miles later, my Uncle Jason picked me up at the airport.
So here we are, the whole family (the adults) at the hospital, sitting with Grandpa in his room in the neuroscience intensive care unit. Like my dad's cousin said, the hospital is never a place you want to be, but it's definitely a place you need to be in times like these.
I think I finally graduated from the kid level to the adult level of my family. I mean, this process takes a while because all the adults (grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents) see you as a child the first 18 years of your life and then all of a sudden you want to be treated like an adult, but it takes a while of ''proving'' that you're an adult before everyone actually sees you as and treats you as an adult.
The Message paraphrase of the Bible says something like ''hard times bring out your true colors.'' Our family is experiencing the emotional rollercoaster together, and I'm really glad I came home to be with everyone. I mean, you can't DO anything in times like these... all you can do is BE. So I'm being with my family and experiencing laughter and tears all within minutes (and the long hours).
Next Sunday when I fly back, I will earn 2,500 more frequent flyer miles... that makes 7,500 miles in 13 days for my Continental OnePass account... a bittersweet bonus to this week's events.