New Blog for Nathanael
We recently started fundraising with COTA to cover Nathanael's medical expenses, so updates about him will be on his new blog from now on: www.COTAforNathanaelB.com. Please check out the blog, pictures, and opportunities to help, and feel free to pass along the link to others. We appreciate your concern!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Door to Door
Good evening from Cincinnati, Ohio. We made it and are beginning to get settled into our new digs. What we are going through as a family can best be described as surreal.
I can't emphasize enough how much we are floating on the wings of the generosity of others, and as you can see by the picture here, I mean that quite literally.
At 9:30 in the morning on Monday, the 28th, we left our house in McKinney, Texas, and drove, oh, about 15 minutes to the Collin County Regional Airport. I've never been to a local, municipal, airport so I didn't really know what to expect. I was surprised when the woman behind the counter told me that if we wanted, the person who picked us up in his truck could just drive through the gate and after the plane landed, I was even more surprised when we were told the truck could just drive up to the aircraft to best facilitate the transfer of luggage.
Let me try to explain what flying is like to me. From my vantage point, walking into an airport is like walking into an alternate reality. I have a friend who flew from China to the U.S. where they went through customs in Los Angeles but changed planes in Honolulu. Since they weren't going through customs, they had to sit in a room for several hours and weren't allowed to leave because they hadn't officially entered the United States. I asked him if he felt like he'd been to Hawaii. He said no way. It's as if entering an airport is an other-worldly experience. You aren't here or there. You're in this metaphysical waystation awaiting the chance to re-enter reality by walking out the door and getting into a car.
Believe it or not, that's a comfort to me because it allows me to hold on to this illusion that planes fly by other-worldly means like magic and wizardry. Driving up to the plane in McKinney robbed me of that illusion. Pilots aren't wizards. These were just a couple of guys who climbed out of the aircraft like you and I would get out of a car. Getting into the plane felt like getting into a car except that it left the ground in one big hurry.
In my conversations with the pilot leading up to the flight, I told him I was what he called a "white knuckle flier." Because of that he took the time to warn me that the climb would be a little bumpy. In reality it wasn't bad at all. There was only one drop that made me grateful I hadn't eaten much that morning. The descent was another story.
Ask anyone who knows anything about flying and they'll tell you that turbulence isn't a big deal. This pilot told me the same thing. The plane can handle more than your body can handle. If you encountered turbulence strong enough to do damage to the aircraft, you wouldn't be conscious to experience it. I don't know why I can't get my brain to buy that. I guess I have this picture in my mind of turbulence causing the plane to tip over upside down or something. Well, after seeing pilots deal with turbulence on Monday far more intense than anything I've experienced on a commercial airline, I think I'm just about over that fear. These guys weren't even holding on to the controls. They were finishing their lunch!
Anyway, here we are, safe and sound in Cincinnati having experienced very little stress considering all the change that's happened. That's because of what I mentioned above; we are resting in the arms of the generosity of a great number of people. There were those who helped us get to the airport and load the plane and see us off with an encouraging word and a hug. There was the guy who drove our van from McKinney to Cincinnati in one day so that we could drive it away from the airplane after we landed. Then there were those who made it possible for us to walk into our temporary home and find food in the fridge and the cupboards. Our two year old had a toddler bed made for him with this adorable stuff alligator lying on it. A wooden train set was waiting for him in the living room. It could have been a whirlwind but instead it was simply a little breezy.
When I studied the book of Ruth, what struck me was how God demonstrated His compassion through the chesed, or lovingkindness, of others. Naomi knew God was with her because He showed her his love through Ruth. He made it clear He'd take care of her through Boaz. Thousands of years later, we are experiencing God's grace made similarly tangible. He's showing us how much He loves us and how much He's taking care of us through the generosity of friends, new and old, family, and a couple of pilots who had compassion on the big kid who had a harder time flying than the two little ones.
Please pray for us tomorrow. The initial appointment is at 9:00 AM Eastern time.