the first trip

I work for some amazing people. This journey would have been tough without their love and support. I was given the opportunity to go to Key Biscayne, FL for a continuing education course. Something I have wanted to attend for at least 2 years now. I was super grateful for the opportunity and was really looking forward to the trip, the time to myself, the knowledge I would gain, etc.

Two days before my trip I sat down to write a packing list of the things I would need to accommodate the things I would be doing. I looked around and thought of the things I was leaving behind. Logan. I already planned to take Logan Bear with me. That was a given. But to leave my home, the comfort of my home where Logan is in spirit, man that began to weigh on me. I felt my chest tightened and my heart pounding like a hammer. I was panicking. How was I going to leave Logan, and my house. How was I going to leave my husband to take care of Wyatt without me? I felt like there was no way I was going to be able to do this. But in my mind, I knew that I could. I could leave and go on this trip, it was going to be hard and painful, and I might be a wreck. But I could definitely do it.

As my sister drove me to the airport, I was chatty nervous. That type of chatter that just keeps going because you’re anxious and it’s your only outlet to relieve that tension. So you basically just keep sputtering like word vomit. She pulled up to the airport curb, and I started taking deep breaths. My heart literally felt like it was going to burst from the squeeze. I walked inside, went through TSA. All the while playing this scenario in my head, if they tried to take Logan Bear away from me. For some reason, I had this real fear that they would pull him out of my bag, look him over, touch him, ask questions, violate him. And everytime I saw my reaction play out in my head, I would see a complete utter meltdown. Like crazy psycho woman, plow the TSA agent, end up in airport jail meltdown. So I anxiously walked through, waiting. Nothing. They didn’t touch Logan Bear. I made it to my gate, and sat peacefully. I got on the plane, peacefully. 20 minutes into our flight, after taking loads of pictures out of my window, I kept thinking about the little bear stowed away in my duffle bag at my feet. I was sitting in a 3 seat setting. I was by the window. The guy on the aisle was asleep. But the man next to me kept moving about. As I kept thinking about my bear, I would peek over at the guy next to me. What would he think, if I pulled out my little bear? A grown woman, carrying an innocent child’s toy? He would not understand my meaning for my little bear.

As I sat there, I began to juggle fear in one hand and guilt in the other. Fear for what he or others might think of me for pulling out this little bear and taking pictures. Guilt because if Wyatt was there, I wouldn’t hesitate to take pictures with him. Guilt because who gives a shit if I want to take a picture with my little bear. Guilt because my little bear represents Logan in the only physical form I can, and I was embarrassed to take him out. In the end, my guilt won out. I told myself, I didn’t care what anyone thought. I’d never see these people again. They didn’t matter to me, their thoughts and opinions did not matter to me. So I leaned over and pulled Logan Bear out. I snuggled him to my chest. We took selfies snuggling and looking out the window. I felt so comforted and peaceful. And I held him for the remainder of the flight. Rubbing my face periodically on the top of his little head. As we landed, with reserve, I stowed him back in my duffle bag, safe until we could play again.

Once I got to the condo, he perched on my bed.

The remainder of my trip, quite honestly was a struggle. There was good and tough. Mother Nature had decided to pay me a visit the day before my trip, so my hormones were already out of control. Add on top of that my first trip away from the house since Logan’s passing. Then add on top of that the frustration of learning a new technique in my course. I’m a perfectionist to an extent. I pride myself in that I do my job not just well, but to the best of my ability. And I take joy when my boss is proud of the quality of my work. So this trip held so much expectation for me. I wanted to learn why we do splints and how to properly create them, but even further, I wanted to be the best. And I was struggling. It was a different technique than what my Dr had taught me. So many times tears sprang to my eyes, but I damned them from coming out. These girls hadn’t yet found out about Logan. Later in the trip they did. I didn’t want this to be a pity me party. So I cursed those tears back into their homes.

The second night we had an additional class; we went over personality types if you will. What their strengths were and their weaknesses. And I don’t know if it was the hormones, exhaustion or perhaps the beer, but I was really struggling keeping those tears in check. They would well up and go back down. Repeat and repeat. I don’t feel like any one thing triggered it. I think it’s been building up for the past few days, and I’m just waiting to uncork this volcano that’s trembling to erupt. One good cry to let out all this emotional tension; to set myself right again. I had every intention of going back to my room and watching a movie and going to sleep. But these girls I met on this trip, were so vibrant in their own ways. Each bringing such an interesting aspect to the group, from all over the country, literally. I chose to set this partially erupting volcano to the side, I crazy glued the cork back in and I went out with the girls. It. Was. Fun. I’m so thankful I went. I ventured out, had a great experience. I was childish and goofy. I spent $16 on a damn margarita. But I had fun.

The last day at the Institute was easy and fast. The day went by quickly and now I find myself sitting on the floor at my gate, waiting for my plane, verbally expressing this volcano. Hoping it will lessen the blow that I know will erupt as soon as I get home. I can already feel it rumbling now.

What I have taken away from this trip, is this:

1.) I am so grateful for my boss and his wife. They are more to us than just my boss. They have been an extended arm on my family tree. They treat me and my family very well. I am extremely blessed to have them in my life. I am grateful for the opportunities and understanding they provide. I am grateful for their genuine concern for my well being. For their support to continue my education and advance in my career.

2.) While I am extremely unhappy that Logan could not stay with me, I’m starting to understand that I have to move on with my life. There is nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t mean I love him any less. I can take him anywhere with me. I can’t even do that with Wyatt. I met a nice lady on this trip, that once she found out about Logan, confided in me that she had lost a child at 7 months gestation. She is older now, and I believe her children are grown. But I asked her whether she had another child after. And she said yes. She also told me it was the best decision because now she has this amazing child. And she would’ve missed that joy if she had chosen not to. She encouraged me to not shy away from the idea of another child, out of fear or uncertainty. But to mull it over. Sniff it, swirl it, sip, spit and repeat, like you do a fine wine.

3.) There are so many amazing things I can do in life on my own as an adult. I find myself relying on only enjoying things in life with the company of Josh or Wyatt or both of them. I find myself feeling guilty if I enjoy trips without them. But that’s not particularly fair to myself is it? This was an amazing opportunity to advance my skills in my career. To make myself more valuable as an employee and a person.

4.) This was a huge step in my mind as an adult. I’ve gone on trips before. But you must be a balla for your boss to send just YOU on a trip to freaking FL on HIS dime. Wow. That’s a HUGE compliment.

5.) Finally, I realize just how truly blessed I am. I may not have everything I want in life. But I definitely have everything I need and plenty more.

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