Friday, July 17, 2009

On Solid Ground

A couple of weeks ago, Jack and I took Faith to the airport to send her to Vegas for two weeks of spoiling. I was able to escort her to the gate, then was allowed no farther. It was hard, but I stood there at the entrance to the loading ramp, and watched her carefully.

She just walked to the ramp door, waved goodbye one last time, and headed out on the tarmac to get on her waiting plane.

She had to walk down one set of stairs, then up another ramp to the plane, and I stood there watching with a lump in my throat. Surely she is too little to be flying alone!

As I headed back out the gates to meet Jack on the patio where you can watch planes take off, Faith called Jack to tell him she had a window seat. He told her to look out the window and she would see us. For the next twenty minutes we would watch this window, and a little hand kept reaching up and waving to us.

Notice the grey in Jack's hair. There is a lot of it. Little did we know that two weeks later this trip would give him cause to add a whole slew of new greys to his head.

We stood there and watched as the plane backed up,

taxied to the runway,
and then carried our baby west-ward on what we hoped were steady wings.

The two weeks went by quickly, and although Faith says she wasn't ready to come home, she called all of us each at least twice a day. She was having fun horseback riding, swimming, getting a manicure, shopping, riding rollercoasters, and generally being pampered by my mom and brother and sister-in-law. She was also loving spending copious amounts of time adoring baby Sophia. But she missed us, and we all missed her like crazy.

Jack and I were attending a funeral on Wednesday when Faith was supposed to be coming home. We had silenced our phones, but as the service ended we noticed that Faith had been calling us. Jack went outside to call her back, mostly worried she had missed her flight because she was supposed to be in the air. It turns out she was in the air. It seems that shortly after take-off the left side of the plane quit working somehow, and began to dipping to the left. It had to turn around and return to Vegas for repairs.When Jack called her back, Faith said "We are landing now because our plane almost crashed." All I heard was him suddenly nearly yelling "Are you okay?" A few minutes later I had spoken to Faith, who was amazingly calm even though she was worried. I spoke to the stewardess who told me they had just finished landing and would be putting her on another plane. I wasn't so sure I wanted her anywhere off the ground at that point, but there weren't a ton of options that didn't involve two days of driving to get to her.

After a change of planes, Faith made it home in a few hours without any further incidents. The little boys and Beth made signs to decorate the door.

Beth still hasn't stopped following her around and clinging to her every chance she gets. Even the dogs came running out to welcome her home.

Somewhere along the line, mine and Jack's hearts began to beat again and we gradually have gotten past the instant fear that curdled our stomachs when we heard the word "crash." Faith is back on solid ground again, and she is staying there for the time being! I am very glad she had a good time visiting some of our loved ones, but I am even more glad, and deeply grateful, to have her home in one piece!

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