The day I heard the news, the day that phone call never came, was a bright sunny day - one of those beautiful early spring days. I remember staring out the window wondering what was wrong with the world. How could the sun shine on a day like this? And the day we drove to the airport, and my heart was overflowing with sheer happiness - I was on my way to see my husband! - the skies opened and it poured! I smiled wryly at the weather's inability to coordinate with my moods.
The friend who drove me to the airport brought along a young man he had been working with. This made my trip a little awkward as we were unable to talk about what was going on. Instead we talked only of superficial things in broken English. For me, it was only the beginning of learning to be silent when I so wanted to talk.
We arrived, bought a ticket, and then had time to waste. So we grabbed a bite of lunch. I did not want to eat, since I had already been fed lunch, but sat and visited with these two men. They would be hanging out in the airport for a few hours and waiting for my mother to arrive. I really did not want to sit and smile and visit. My heart was full, I was exhausted, and if anything, I wanted to talk about what was happening. Sitting just chatting about the weather was tiring. I watched the clock until I could gracefully leave.
I thanked my friend, and left a message for my mom and another friend they were picking up that day in the airport. Then I went through security. I was way too early - but my friend had been pretty nervous about finding a ticket, so we had come early. I wandered through a few stores thinking I might buy something, but things seemed so empty after the last few days. I walked to my gate and sat down.
Then I began to battle something else - tiredness. Five nights with little to no sleep were catching up, and now that the final worry had left and I knew they were safe, I just wanted to curl up and SLEEP! But I didn't dare. I did NOT want to miss this flight! So I walked, I watched people, and I tried to do some puzzles. But it was tough. I worked on Suduko, something I like doing, but the numbers jumped around on the page. I rubbed my eyes and tried to focus on them, but it only got worse. My vision blurred and went blank - a sea of fuzzy whiteness. I sat for several minutes not seeing anything. My heart thumped and my mind raced through the possibilities of what it could be. Part of my rational mind was telling me that it was just stress, but I had never seen stress do this! It was lonely and frightening to sit there struggling to see. I so wanted to call for help, but then thought that if I do, they will never let me get on this plane! So I sat silent, not seeing, just trying to take slow deep breaths to calm down.
I closed my eyes, but my mind kept racing. After a few more minutes of breathing slowly and purposefully, I opened them again, and could see a little, but still very blurry and vague. I walked to the bathroom and checked to see if there was something in my eyes, but nothing was there. I was too nervous to sit down again, so began to walk laps around the terminal. I still had an hour to kill before they would load that plane.