When I arrived in Chicago at the O'Hare airport, I was greeted by my son-in-law Michael. My first thought was that Jenny was waiting in the car, as she would be great with child. My plans were to time my arrival close to her due date. Michael greeted me, and I jokingly said, "Where is Jenny? Did she have the baby yet?"
I was surprised when he responded, "Bethany is here, 9 lbs, 2 ounces. Jenny had a c-section an hour ago and mother and baby are doing fine."
It wasn't exactly what I had planned, but it confirmed the reason and timing of my trip. Jenny would need my help for the next week as she recovered from her surgery. I was happy to be "needed." I had a good time cooking and cleaning, not to mention all the baby holding time--something I haven't had the pleasure of doing in years.
On my 50th birthday I left Indiana and made my way to my mom's house in Ohio. I had an enjoyable stay with her--we have a good time shopping together and we always make memories together. It never fails that something funny will happen to us in the stores. My mom is the queen of getting good deals and she makes me laugh the way things work out for her at the check out lane. It just takes patience as one night in K-mart I went to the car so I could pick her up when she exited, and after waiting 30 minutes I went in to see what was going on when she didn't appear. It is a long story, but she ended up with a coat she loved for less than $12.
One of the highlights of the trip was at my sister's house in Ohio, where for a brief few hours I was able to see all of my sisters together, something that hasn't occurred in many years. It was a great time and I insisted on taking a photo of us. I had hoped to come for a visit in August to celebrate my dad's 80th birthday and a family reunion, but the Lord had other plans.
While in Ohio I visited with Amy and her two youngest children. After three boys she had a baby girl, and Amy is having a lot of fun dressing her. With four children six and under, Amy has a very busy life and it was nice that she could get away for a few days to spend with me.
From Ohio I drove to Michigan where I met another grand baby, Vanessa. She is such a happy baby and always smiling for the camera. Reluctantly I made my way back to Chicago, although I was eager to see my family back here in the islands. After the long flight and twelve hour layover in Madrid, I realized I probably wouldn't be going back to the states any time soon--but I am thankful for the opportunity the Lord allowed me.