My pretty mom, Judy :)
I just spent seven days in Florida.
It was a last minute decision, and boy was I glad that I went. Our dear family friend Mel Mountain passed away last week. SO sad. It still brings a heavy heart and big painful tears to my eyes to write about it. Mom and I were talking about him at Easter. We knew that he was fading, but we thought there would be more time. He was just so sick. My mom is the most tender-hearted friend. She would do anything for her friends.
She told me that she and Dad would be traveling to Florida for his services.
Thinking about it later, I asked myself, "How could I afford to go?"
The answer came "How will you feel about yourself if you don't go?"
I asked "Will it be OK to take the time off work?" The answer came from my manager, Melody "Just let us know how we can help."
So when she called me in tears on Monday night, I told Mom that I was going along with them. Rick would watch their dog. I would be ready when they were. Three days later, we were flying across the Sierra Nevadas on our way to Tampa.
My first time in Florida, but not my last. I stepped out of the airport into midnight scented, 80 degree warmth and humidity and immediately loved it.
"Oh," I thought. "I get it. So this is why they choose to live here...."
We drove to Brooksville that night in a drenching downpour, and when we finally arrived at the hotel, the night clerk asked, "Are you the Wetzels?" The famous Southern hospitality ~ it is real. I woke to sunshine and singing birds. The Spanish moss hung in lacy clusters from the oaks. There were pink drifts of wild phlox blooming alongside the highway.
I felt like I had stepped into a Faulkner novel.
I am the first one to admit that I am not a good traveler. I suffer. My stomach is tied in knots for days. I worry about not making the travel arrangements, not having my computer. (I am seriously getting a laptop.) I don't like the lack of privacy. I can't eat the way I want to....
But this was an important trip for me.
I missed my friends and they were suffering far worse than I.
My mom and dad are starting to feel their age, and they had lost one of their closest friends. One of their MARBLE PARTNERS. It does not get any worse than that.
They needed my calming presence. They needed me. They needed me to referee :)
"FRED! Don't turn here...!"
"Judy, stop yelling at me...."
It was so good to see the Mountains. They are a close knit, strong family. They exude warmth and goodness. It was good to see them gathered together and supporting each other. They are those people who will always do the right thing for the right reasons.
I love them all. And they love me :)
All you can do is ask for guidance and trust in the answers that you receive. And then take the keys, so you have some control.... :)
....today, I could have used a hug.