Saturday, July 29, 2017

Traveling WITHOUT Tessie Toodles...

My FB friends know that for Christmas our kids along with their boyfriends, a family friend who was once Tess's most beloved (and still is beloved) home health nurse, my dad and my stepmom surprised us with one of the most thoughtful and loving gift's we could have ever dreamt of. Or, in our case, not really dared to ever dream of due to the extreme circumstances that we live under.

They gave us a trip to Ireland!

When we opened up the box and I saw the little booklet that Blake had made sitting on the top of traveling goodies, with the cover that read, "You're going to Ireland!", I just started bawling. And my friends, I am NOT a crier. But I just couldn't help it. Charlie and I, who never even get to go out alone together, for even an hour, ever, were going to get to go on an actual REAL vacation.

not the most flattering pic but the one of us after just opening our present


TOGETHER. ALONE.

It was seriously almost beyond anything that I could comprehend. It was just so unimaginable. As I said before, it's something we never even dared to dream about doing simply because our lives completely revolve around caring for Tessie and that is a full on twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, job. And because Tess cannot even be left with family members due to all of her medical needs and the fact that she can get scary sick as quick as you can flip a light switch, we just figured that any type of trip together wasn't in our cards and we'd made peace with that. Well, let's be honest, as much peace as you can make in that kind of situation.

But here we sat, with our amazing, kind, generous, awesome girls looking on with hope in their eyes and voices as they asked, "Are you going to go?", because they were so excited FOR US to be able to go but they also understood that leaving Tess for that amount of time, not to mention, not even being in the same country as her, might be a deal breaker, especially for me.

To paraphrase the scene from the movie, The Princess Bride (which has the Cliffs of Insanity in it, which in real life are the Cliffs of Moher, which WE ARE GOING TO BE SEEING IN A LITTLE MORE THAN A WEEK), "...only a great fool would turn down the trip of a lifetime, but I am not a great fool so I choose yes, we want to go to Ireland."

And I cried a little more out of sheer happiness and because our kids had planned this all themselves and worked every angle to make it happen. Not many kids would do so much for their parents with nothing in it for themselves. They were even the ones who had called Sheila (our former nurse) unbeknownst to me to be sure she would be willing to take Tess so we could go. And because Sheila is just the absolute best and loves Tessie, she is taking her vacation time to come stay with Tess along with her boyfriend, Jim, who is also kind and generous and making it a priority to be here to help Sheila.

You want to talk about feeling blessed? How blessed are we?!

So we are one week away from the day we leave the island and my anxiety is starting to ratchet up pretty high. I'm scared to leave Tess. All of the what ifs that I live with daily with her are rearing their ugly heads. I'm most scared of SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy). I hate the thought of her having a bad seizure and me not being there but, even worse, the fear that that could be the seizure that causes SUDEP and I'm not there. She will be left in the best hands possible next to me (and truth be told, medically speaking, better than me) but that fear is just too big to be able to be reasoned with. For example, I make sure I tell her that I love her every single night at bedtime (even though I tell her this approximately eleventy billion times  day) because my fear is that she will die in her sleep from SUDEP and I need to know that the last thing she hears if that should happen is how very, very much she is loved. And if for some reason I forget to tell her that (because there are a lot of steps to putting her to bed), I go back in if I hear her wake up at all to tell her. So yeah, I'm getting anxious about leaving her.

And the cherry on top of that sucky sundae? I am afraid of flying and have claustrophobia and the thought of feeling like I'm trapped in that airplane for six hours is wreaking havoc on my nerves. I know, I know, I'm a baby. I'm not disagreeing with you. But in my defense, it's a freaking metal can, with wings, way up high. That I can't just take a break from when I want one.  Meanwhile, Charlie has absolutely no fear of flying and Blake and Ellie don't have any fears about it so I'm over here like the freak who's all, "I wish they would just have parachutes on the back of every seat. That would make me feel better." Because that would be safe. *rolls eyes at own ridiculousness*

If you have a fear of flying, or any other fear based thing that you know in your head is completely irrational, I know you can sympathize with me,  and if you don't, well, what can I say? Being irrational comes fairly easily to me.

At any rate, I'm putting my big girl panties on, telling all of my fears to take a back seat and shut the heck up, and getting on that airplane come hell or high water.

Because Ireland.

And because Charlie and I never had a honeymoon so there's that.

And, God willing and the creak don't rise, I'll be home the following week to get the cold shoulder from the Toodle Bug for having the gall to leave her and bragging rights on getting to check off a major item on my bucket list as well as the honeymoon we never got.

I told Ellie I was going to occupy myself by looking for celebrities. She wasn't very supportive of this idea as she scoffed, "Celebrities in Ireland, mom?" And I said very haughtily, "No, Ell, celebrities on the airplane!" After all, aren't most celebs winging their way to Ireland while flying coach? I see no flaws in my plan at all. And, If I'm a really good girl on the flight, maybe the stewardess will give me a set of airplane wings to pin on my shirt. But if I'm being totally honest here, I keep seeing myself as Kristen Wiig from the movie Bridesmaids when she's on the plane and having a total freakout. It really could go either way at this point.




Meanwhile, Ireland, vacation, a break from real life....fears or not, it all sounds pretty dang good to me!