Tag Archives: being present

Pedrata airport with skillet

You’re Only Ever Where You’re Meant to Be

Think about it. If you were meant to be somewhere else, you’d be there.

And yet we stress and stress about getting through traffic, rushing to get somewhere, and we miss the point that we’re already there – where we’re meant to be.

Today Pedrata and I got to the airport nice and early so we could begin our return journey home (thanks Mark for the ride!).

There was quite a long wait as the clerk tried to figure out why they wouldn’t let her ticket my last leg of the flight. After a few phone calls, she found out that the other carrier had slightly altered the departure time of the flight.

“Okay, no big deal.” I thought, “That’s why we come to the airport so early.”

Then we waited to board our flight. After a bit, I realized that there wasn’t the standard action. As in the standard, people with small children, business class, blah, blah blah . . . “Okay, what’s up?” I thought.

Waited in line and the nice guy named Alan assured me that I’d make my connection.

“Okay, Alan, I’m going to trust you on this” (knowing that it’ll all work out as it’s meant to).

After another half hour went by, and I only had an hour between flights at my next destination, I once again approached the booth.

“I think I’ll be booking you on that other flight route,” he said as he called the others to come up to the gate.

“Got it. Thanks Alan.”

And as the plane was being boarded, he called me over to another booth. Another phone call was made. My bag was taken off the plane. And Pedrata and I just watched it all thinking to ourselves, “Wherever we’re meant to be is where we are.”

Click, click, click. I heard the new tickets being issued.

“Okay, I’ll see you in about 2 hours,” Alan said.

“Okay. Hey, any chance I can get a voucher for a coffee?” (realizing that the 2 hour nap I had planned wasn’t going to happen.)

“Sure,” he replied, “I’d be glad to. Just give me a minute.”

So we rested our dawgs and set down our heavy pack that is carrying a rather LARGE cast iron skillet that my mother graciously gave me when I happened to mention sometime that I think I’d actually like to use one. It cracked me up how she remembered that (I didn’t remember telling her that), but then will forget other things that can seem so important to me.

No matter. If she’s meant to remember anything, she will.

. . .

Fast forward to being on the first plane of three.

I’m chatting it up with a woman sitting beside me . . . and lo and behold, it ends up that she knew my Dad. LOVED my Dad.

“I LOVED your Dad,” she gushed. “And my husband too; he really misses him. Your Dad used to help my granddaughter with tennis tips.”

Yup, sounds like my Dad.

Thanks Dad for that little shout out and hello.

Thanks for reminding me how you’re always keeping an eye on me. Ever present in my life.

I love you too Dad.

Boy, do I ever love YOU!


: )

✫ Sj out ✫

Enjoy A Picnic Whenever & Wherever It Appears, for It May Be Your Last

date: Dec. 7, 2008

subject: The “end” is near . . .

Dear wonderful Girlfriends,

Dad’s course really took a turn on Thursday . . . he has begun his journey and the “end” is near. Jan, Hannah and I (the three sisters) are here in the room (Jan brought her computer, turned it on and found that there is Wi-Fi here) and we’re staying the night together.

Earlier, the entire family (the four kids; my husband, Tony; Dwight, Hannah’s husband; Mom and Dad’s best friend, Reese) gathered around Dad and sang songs, read Psalms 121 (Dad’s favorite) and #130. We then each shared many, many good memories. It was truly beautiful.

Then we sat down to a dinner of salad and hamburgers that Dayton brought (we hadn’t had a “real” meal all day and everyone was ravenous). We obviously don’t know when Dad will go . . . but we feel it’ll be when things quiet down. Mom said very comforting words to Dad including, “I know you’re tired Clyde. It’s okay to go . . . we’re all fine, you don’t need to worry about us.”

Yes, of course I’ll miss my Dad; but at this moment, I can’t help but feel so very thankful for the good, long life he’s had. He has obviously touched so MANY people. What a gift my siblings and I have had to have him as a father. I will carry him in my heart forever . . . when he was ill and I was still at home, I carried him perched on a pedestal in my heart as I went for bike rides . . . now I feel like he’ll have a permanent place there.

Love to you all and mahalo for your many, many wonderful and caring emails.


p.s. There’s one story I didn’t share . . . our last “picnic” with Dad.

Tony was driving Dad and Mom from the Patricial Neal Rehab center in downtown Knoxville to St. Mary’s hospice facility in the north part of town. Jan and I were in Dad’s Subaru Baja truck. Jan had asked Dad if he wanted to stop at a drive-through for lunch. “No, “ he adamantly replied, “I want to go straight there.” But after we passed a Wendy’s, Jan’s cell phone rang. “Dad wants to stop for lunch,” Mom said. We all turned around and pulled into a Wendy’s.

We parked side-by-side and went inside to order lunch. It was a beautifully clear day (amazing how that has happened on the days when Dad’s been in transit . . . it’s been so cold and rainy on all the other days). Tony, Jan and I piled into the back of Mom’s Toyota Avalon. Mom sat in the driver’s seat and Dad in the front passenger seat.


First Dad devoured (and I mean devoured) his chili. “Yum, this is good!” he said. Then he devoured his burger. Again, “Yum!” Next followed the frosty and a milk. At one point I said in my typical optimistic way, “This is fun!” Dad burst out laughing. He didn’t say anything, but I could feel him thinking, “You always have so much fun Susan doing the simplest things.”

That was our last picnic with Dad. What a gift!

That was on Wednesday the 3rd. Later that same afternoon he said he was tired. He’s been sleeping ever since. The two booklets that Hospice has on hand have been incredibly helpful in describing the journey he’s currently on. And reading them, we realized that he had begun the journey several weeks earlier. I think my Dad in his ever tenacious way had been giving every moment ALL of his energy. Once he arrived here he could feel (I think) this special place’s spirituality and that he had arrived at a safe haven. What a gift we have been given. May this and all hospice facilities continue to be blessed for the wonderful care and compassion they provide so many people.

Love to you all.