Good evening from Cincinnati, Ohio. I know that many of you have been curious as to what it was like when we finally got to see each other after 3 and a half months apart. It was good. So, how about all that snow?
But seriously...it is funny to me that I can say that about the snow and people from both Dallas and Cincinnati can relate. It's like the stuff followed us here. Bree will post the whole thing from her point of view but I thought that since I was the first who had free time, I thought I'd try and convey what it was like more for Jamison than for me, or at least what I saw Jamison experience.
The snow thing is goofy. The day before we left to drive the 14 hours from McKinney to Cincinnati, more than a foot of snow landed in North Texas. I couldn't believe it. It started snowing well before daybreak and didn't stop for over 24 hours. For Dallasites, that's not a snowstorm, that's the apocalypse. I wondered for a second if God was trying to tell me something about our impending trip. Leave it to me to make a once-every-30 years snowstorm about me. Two days after we got here, Cincinnati was inundated with 9 inches of its own.
Driving for 14 hours with a 3 year old is not a one day trip. We broke it into two days, stopping halfway in Memphis. Hats off to Paul Rasmussen who not only shared in the driving but patiently endured Jamison's constant queries of what was inside each and every semi-trailer that we passed on the highway.
I didn't sleep much on the overnight. The bed in the hotel was a little high off the ground and knowing my boy is an aggressive sleeper I didn't want him falling off so I basically stood vigil all night. It was a good thing I did. Somewhere around 3:00 AM, he had turned around completely and rolled several times reaching the foot of the bed before I picked him up and carried him back to the head of the bed.
All of that is to say that on Saturday, I was exhausted and by the time we were crossing the Ohio River, I was operating solely on adrenaline. After dropping Paul off with Craig Knisley, who with his wife Niki, attended Faith Bible while in seminary, we drove to the apartment.
I honestly have to say that emotionally, it didn't hit me until those last 10 minutes or so. I'd held our departure loosely knowing that any of a number of factors could delay our leaving McKinney. I did my best to focus on the task at hand while we drove across Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky. However, as we drove those last few miles, it all hit me at once. I got very tired and nervous only because I didn't know how Jamison would handle seeing his mom after all these weeks. I had flashbacks of what it had been like to leave at the end of October, to drive out of the parking garage, and strangely, I got sick to my stomach.
As we drove up, I asked him if he remembered the apartment complex. He said yes. We pulled into the parking spot and I asked him to tell me which building it was and he got it right and when I looked at him, I noticed a big grin on his face. We walked into the building and, truthfully, the smile never left. I asked him what apartment it was and he remembered. When we were here in October, we'd used that hallway to do a little running and so it didn't surprise me when he started to run. We stopped at the door and I got ready to open it but Bree took care of that. It flung open and she scooped him up into her arms. He smiled and giggled and didn't seem to care that mom had tears in her eyes. He just kept talking and talking and explored our small apartment. He found his bed and the stuffed alligator that we'd left here and did nothing but talk to his mommy. I was able to hold it together until I saw Nathanael. My youngest son had just changed so much since I last saw him and Skype for all it's worth didn't do those changes justice.
To say that it feels good to be together again is to surrender to the fact that the English language doesn't have the words but really it's just one more chapter closed in this ongoing saga that would have made some great reality television. I've discovered that Nathanael's health regimen is intense as far as what has to be done when as well as the caution that needs to be exercised to protect him as much as possible from germs while his immune system continues to reboot from the transplant. We should know in a week or so what the remainder of our time here in Cincinnati looks like. Day 100 is March 3rd. That's supposed to mark the end of the critical window. For now, I'll continue to hold it all loosely. Jamison has a few things that he says often. He asks if we in fact all together again (he doesn't say "in fact"). He asks mommy if she's happy and he asks when it is that we will go home to Texas with mommy and Nathanael. Pray Lord that it will be soon.