I keep forgetting that my aunt and uncle have internet access, so I should be able to give updates during the week.
God put all of the plans for my travel down here in place with such ease and grace. My dad called me about 7:30 to tell my grandma died. I knew it was soon because she was given just merely hours on Saturday. After talking to my dad and figuring out Patrick's schedule, we thought the initial course of action was for me to drive the kids to my dad's house and then we would drive with my dad down to FL today. But, after thinking about that and talking to my mother in law, we figured it would be possible to take just Ethan, which would make the drive easier. Then, my dad suggested that why don't I just fly. You see, there is an airline that flies out of JC for real cheap down to Orlando/Sanford (north of Orlando International) and they only fly on Sun and Thurs. So, I quickly called them and asked if there was any availability. This was around 9:15am. They said there was, but they stop booking at 10. I called a friend of mine who flies with their son a lot and asked if I could borrow her travel carseat, which is a carseat and stroller built into one. She said of course and brought it to church. Patrick's mom was driving up Sun afternoon and Mallory would be cared for. All I had to do was make a rental car reservation, which went without a hitch. So, I had a flight and rental car for less than $400 which is GREAT for such a last minute flight. Since Patrick and I had to teach the preschoolers at church, I had 20 minutes to pack for me and Ethan before we had to be at church. AND so far, the only thing I've noticed I've forgotten is my brush! God is good.
Ethan was GREAT on the flight down here. I still can't get over how a 12 hour trip turns into a 1 hour and 15 minute flight. Crazy. Ethan barely slept at all yesterday, but was a trooper despite his weariness. The flight was full except for 2 seats, and one of those seats was next to me!!! Praise God! I had plenty of room to put his toys and what-nots to keep him entertained for the duration of the flight. I only checked the clock twice to see how much longer we had left. I think that was a good thing! Maneuvering through the airport with the carseat/stroller and my one carry on and purse was a BREEZE (thank you, thank you, thank you Abby!). The airport was only 60 miles from my family's house, but it took almost 2 hours to get here, between potty breaks, the grocery store, diaper changes, and feedings. AND I think we stop ed at EVERY traffic light on the way. Every time I hit a red light, I prayed for grace. :-)
Anyway, we arrived here about 7pm and Ethan was VERY glad to be released from the carseat. My mother was SOOO happy to see us both. My dad is supposed to arrive today, so Ethan and I were the first ones from her brood that she got to hug. When we arrived, there was a mass of family here which was pretty chaotic. I did get to hug my grandpa, though it was brief because of the craziness. He left shortly after I got there, which doesn't surprise me since he barley slept a wink in the last few days. Ethan was up for about an hour before I put him to bed. Actually, mom asked to put him to bed, which I think was a good balm for her. She hadn't seen E in over a month and just holding him and loving on him started a grief process for her that she hadn't been able to come to yet because of all the busy-ness of the hours after the death of a loved one. I got to talk to her for about an hour after E went to bed and it was so nice to hear her talk and learn more about grandma's final hours.
Ethan is taking a nap now and I'm in a quiet house, so I'm going to take this opportunity to spend a few minutes with God. Please pray that my grandpa will see Jesus through all of this. He doesn't feel worthy of God and wonders why Jesus would even give him a thought. Yes, he's not worthy, like all of us, and pray that he'll see God's grace as a free gift and the Jesus loves him, too. Pray that I will be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I know this is long, but this was a nice respite for me. Writing things down makes me infuse the memories into my brain. It feels weird being here without seeing grandma. Her funeral is on Wed. Again, all I can ask is for your prayers.