I have been accumulating airline miles for a free roundtrip for months. I was hoping to go visit my brother (and his family) in the west but within months, he was transferred (he is in the Navy) to a state where my airline won't fly...Hawaii! Of course, now I have to start saving to visit him there!! But in the meantime, I had aquired two trips that I needed to use up before they expired.
Needless to say, last week, I was thinking of options when my husband suggested that I fly to see my friend (whose seven months old baby was in the hospital and had been in the NICU for a few months.) I had met my friend in person about four or five years ago at a gathering of friends. Her and I have kids (the kindergarteners) who were born on the same day. We each have four kids as well. Even though we don't get a chance to meet up in person, we talk on the phone often or the internet (where we initially met.) Since my kiddo was out next week for spring break, I thought about the possibility of flying there with my kids and visiting to give her a break.
But, life has a way of making other plans. Instead of going to give her a break, I will be attending a memorial service for her baby. She now has three children as her fourth grew angel wings and flew to a better place. The baby's heart issues (that were discovered even before birth) weren't totally fixed even after several surgeries. I was the first person she told when she discovered she was pregnant with this baby. It wasn't a planned pregnancy and the father chose to move on...but she loved her little one from the beginning.
She mentioned bringing the baby's things home from the hospital afterwards and just laying the blanket in the crib (unwashed) so she could still smell her. I remember that feeling from after my mom's passing. I loved to go to my mom's closet and try to smell her long after she was gone. From the movie Hope Floats, a scene like that makes me cry every time.
So, my boys and I will fly in a couple days and stay for several days with her. It won't make everything better but I'll be there in case she needs a shoulder or an ear and mostly, to give her a hug.