Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Off to school again!

Well she's gone... again! And this time it'll be long. Well, not really because she'll be home in July for 7 weeks. But ONLY 7 weeks. And when she leaves again in September, she takes Amber with her. I think it's time I finally begin to accept that my children are leaving.... well.... kinda.

This time I put her on a plane. We made the 2 hour drive to Portland talking nearly the whole way. We were up till 11pm the night before, both of us sitting on her suitcase, struggling to get it zipped.

Then we were up at 2:30am to load it all in the car. Oh if only Nicholas could have been with us because we needed his strength. By 3:15am, we'd had our last family prayer all together and we got in the car to go. By 3:30am, we were on the road and making our way to the airport in Portland.

We talked about everything! It felt like a late night talk! It was so great! We didn't get to have nearly as many of those while she was home that we should have. We caught up on everything! EVERYTHING!! The 2 hour drive just flew by. It seemed unreal that she was really leaving.

We got to the airport in the nic of time though. Dragging the big suitcase we sat on was VERY difficult. It turned out that the pull out handle had gotten stuck on her way home but we forgot. The suitcase lay hidden away under Nicholas' bed for the entire 3 months she was home. Now I had to drag it. We managed to get to the check in counter and thank goodness that heavy thing was under 50lbs. It sure didn't feel like it. Then we had to drag it over to the guys who open things and look at what you've got. When I handed it over, I told him how difficult it would be to close it. He assured me he'd opened and closed MANY suitcases. As I walked away, I thought... "yea, but none like THIS one, surely!"

Then we got in line for the security gate. After the first little check point, I couldn't go any further and had to stand off to the side to watch her unpack her backpack. So much stuff had to come out to go through the security. All the insulin, the laptop... of course shoes had to come off... just amazing how much you have to unpack to go through. And she managed to get through. But the last I saw of her was her trying to gather it all up in her arms to get out of the way of the next group of people. It's so frustrating not to be able to help. And not even a last wave. they have it so blocked that you just barely get a last view of the loved one you're sending off.

From there, it was lots of text messages until the plane took off. I just got out to the highway when it took off. It was an exhausting drive home. When I got to the Coburg Hills, she texted me and said she'd landed! ALREADY! How amazing. It was 9:30am her time and she was scheduled to take the noon shuttle from Salt Lake to Rexburg. she said she was going to try to make it to the 10am shuttle if she could. I don't know... half an hour to get your stuff and get outside to catch the shuttle? Oh it was going to be close! I raced the rest of the way home, hoping I could get home in time to help her somehow.

Just as I walked in my front door, she phoned me... she got her stuff and it was quarter to ten! What relief! What a miracle!! If she could catch the 10am shuttle, she could get to school well before the housing office closed, unlike the noon shuttle which would get her there at 4:30. I told her to get out the door and find that shuttle and I would change her reservation for her. She found a group waiting and I called the shuttle people. they were sooooo nice! OF COURSE she could change her reservation. Oh, and by the way, the shuttle is stuck in traffic in Salt Lake. It's late! whew.... wow! She made it! What a relief!

Just as I'm climbing into bed, completely exhausted, she texted me to tell me Jaelyn's bus in Salt Lake is also late but it's just arriving at 10am for her. A few minutes later, another text... Jaelyn's bus is now headed to the airport! They will be on the SAME shuttle!!!!

I burst into tears! Must have been exhaustion! But of all the prayers I said for her safety and ease of travel, I never even guessed that the Lord had such a blessing in store! It's such a little thing but it meant everything to me to know that the 2 best friends would be together for the longest, hardest part of the trip! I imagined their reunion and just sobbed with joy for them! I heard very little after that text message as the shuttle arrived at the airport and the girls found eachother. They talked for an hour and then fell asleep against eachother. What better way is there for returning to school!

But the Lord was not done with his blessings. Dear Audrey met the girls when the shuttle arrived at school. In her little car she helped them with all their luggage and THEN..... took them to their storage unit! It took 3 trips in her little car but they got all their stuff THAT DAY!! I thought for sure she wouldn't be able to get her stuff till the next day but thanks to Audrey and a tremendous effort, both girls were able to get all their things moved into their new dorm!

The Lord truely looks out for the kids at BYU-Idaho! He knows their needs even better than I do and can help them with everything. I had no idea I was as worried as I was until I heard Jaelyn would be traveling with her. The load that was lifted off my shoulders was incredible! it still makes me tear up just to think of that tiny blessing. To me, it meant everything!!