Six years ago last week Travis and I flew to Ghana and then to Amsterdam and then to Detroit and then to Denver.Â Six years ago last week my little bag made it to Detroit and Denver in tact. Six years ago last week as I was clearing immigration in Detroit, the official looked at my itinerary, looked at me and said, “You were at that school weren’t you?Â I saw you on TV.”Â Six years ago last week I thought, “Wow.Â I’ve been traveling for more than 50 hours.Â I must have looked pretty bad on TV for him to be able to recognize me so readily.”Â Six years ago last week we thought we had a few hours to get to our next flight.Â Six years ago last week we had less than an hour to get to our flight when we cleared customs in an unfamiliar airport.Â Six years ago last week we just made our connecting flight to Denver.
Six years ago last week when we landed in Denver there were all sorts of news crews waiting to greet some of our friends who arrived on an earlier flight.Â Six years ago last week one reporter talked to Travis briefly and me even more briefly.Â Six years ago last week there was a contingency from the mission to meet us at the airport.Â Six years ago last week we got back to the mission headquarters, called family, and collapsed.Â Six years ago last week I was asked to return to the airport the next morning to meet people coming in then, because nobody else knew them.Â Six years ago last week right after I agreed to that, Travis realized he’d lost his passport.Â Six years ago last week I was in charge of getting Travis a new passport.
Six years ago last week when I went to the airport to meet the people on the next flight, I checked to see if anyone had turned in Travis’ passport. Six years ago last week I was quite relieved when Northwest Airlines handed me his passport.Â Six years ago last week I made quite a few trips to DIA to meet colleagues evacuating from Cote d’Ivoire.Â Six years ago last week I thought I’d never want to go to the airport again–except to go home, wherever that was.
Six years ago last week we had a debriefing.Â Six years ago last week it was good to be with everyone–even my friends who were on home assignment but who came to spend time with the evacuees.Â Six years ago last week the debriefing was too short and incomplete.Â Six years ago last week I went to Costco with my friends.Â Six years ago last week I saw one of my china teacups that I’d left behind and broke into tears.Â Six years ago last week that teacup symbolized everything that was gone.
Six years ago today I finally got to my parents’ home in FL.Â Six years ago today as I descended the escalator to meet my parents and my grandmother in baggage claim only my father was there to greet me.Â Six years ago today my grandmother started the earnest business of dying.Â Six years ago today while I was flying to Orlando she was in the emergency room.Â Six years ago today she went on oxygen for the rest of her life.Â Six years ago today we drove home for a joyously somber reunion.
Six years ago tonight as I was trying to relax in the pool and debrief my parents a bit, the phone rang.Â Six years ago tonight our school director called and asked if I would go to Dakar, Senegal and teach if the school moved there.Â Six years ago tonight he said they’d need me there in two weeks.Â Six years ago tonight I told him I’d just arrived.Â I told him I’d just moved from one frying pan to another.Â I asked him to give me a week.Â Six years ago today I slept really well.
photo courtesy of clappstar