Sometimes we let bad feelings from the past get in the way of what really is important, at least I do. Fortunately, at least this time, I was smart enough to look aside and sieze the moment to get back what really matters, family.
After too many years, I traveled to Houston to see my wonderful brother-in-law before he died only to return three weeks later for his funeral. While it was sad beyond belief, it gave me the opportunity to reconnect with my Texas family. I vowed I would return and the next trip would not be a sad one.
The next opportunity came when my niece invited me to her man's birthday party. I would have loved to go, but we already had a house rented in Vermont so that was out of the question. While in Aruba, I got an invitation to her daughter's 8th birthday party. Everyone who knows me knows I am not a child lover and will always avoid any place with boisterous children having fun, but I decided to look for a cheap ticket and make the trip anyway. (I got a free ticket using mileage from a Delta credit card I opened last year--no fees and I just had to use it once for 30,000 miles.)
The party was just as loud as I expected but I loved every second of it, especially the reaction of the birthday girl when she opened the door and saw me, her surprise present, standing there. I got to share in the warmth and love of a wonderful family, a family lost to me for too long.
The trip is hectic. After a day at work I had a 9:00 flight got me here at midnight and I am leaving midday Monday so I won't miss any time at school, but it is worth it. I can always sleep when I am dead.