The girls and I are singing “On the Road Again” en route to Florida for two reasons: (1) a second visit to seven week old Micah, 20 month old Skylar and their parents, and (2) a few days on Sanibel Island with Mary and Bervin. Their two youngest girls and ours will revel in exploring the island on rented scooters, as well as spending refreshing time on the shelly beach.
As for me, a Cyclops-lookalike with a colorful goose-egg, I’ll be on the screened porch waiting for my battered face to quit oozing. The doctor said, “No sun for you, unless you want half of your face to absorb an extra amount of ultraviolet rays and become permanently stained.” I already look like Two-face, the deformed villain in Batman’s “Dark Knight” and don’t need that.
As we packed and loaded up this morning, doing all those last-minute chores before departure, I realized anew why my widow warrior friends have told me they like to stay home. After walking through months of unknowns getting used to widowhood, these women are tentatively holding onto shreds of a new routine when suddenly it’s time to break stride and leave on a trip, yet another unknown.
In addition, widows like to pass their days where their husband used to be and sleep where he used to sleep, maybe even in his t-shirt. Going too far away for too long becomes tense and unsettling, causing mourning to be set aside for a few days, which elongates the process. It’s always waiting upon return.
Despite these stresses, the girls and I are looking forward to a dose of tropical weather after this sad, snowy winter, and my broken toe will be happier in flip flops than in shoes. Once again my magnanimous sister and husband are providing for us in a special way, offering bedrooms at a restful resort, urging us to come. Without them, we wouldn’t go.
Our road trip was interesting today. I’ve learned what it feels like to be the object of gawkers. “Don’t stare,” one mom told her little girl as we waited in line for the gas station bathroom. Most are sure I’ve been battered by an angry man and show compassion. One woman saw my face and lovingly said, “Oh honey, let me help you into the store,” rushing back to open the door before I got there. She had all she could do not to embrace me. When I saw another little girl with a scab on her face staring at me, I smiled and said, “You don’t look as bad as I do,” but she turned and ran.
Louisa did all the driving without complaint, and the girls walked the dogs as needed. Compared to traveling with little children, we had it easy. I just hope when we connect with Skylar tomorrow afternoon she doesn’t take one look at Grandma Midgee and go screaming to her daddy in terror!
”The Lord, before whom I have walked, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success,” (Genesis 24:40a)