I cannot let this day end without letting it be known that today, January 9, is the date that I brought Georg to Sheboygan a year ago. Last year, on a Wednesday, we left his condo in Hallandale, Florida at 5 a.m. and flew out of Fort Lauderdale on an 8 a.m. flight.
I remember sitting in the terminal with him in that early gray light, drinking coffee and trying to stay positive. I will never forgot that I saw a little bird flying around in the Delta terminal and I had many thoughts that morning about how much we don’t see the whole reality of everything, ever. For that little bird, the airport terminal was its life. Did it realize the much greater sky available to it beyond the ceiling and the windows? Do I?
Getting Georg to Milwaukee on two different planes that day was a long and harrowing journey. He had a terrible cough. He was in a wheel chair. We got plenty of help from airport personal and we got lots of special treatment because of the wheel chair. Some nice MKE “sky cap” even stayed with Dad and our luggage while I left the terminal to go get my car out of long term parking so I could drive him that one last leg up to Sheboygan.
Like I said, it was a long and harrowing journey. I brought him straight to Morningside Nursing Home, a place he went in and out of a couple times during 2013, much to his chagrin. Frankly, it was a long and harrowing year.
Many people have said, “Christmas must have been very rough for you this year, without Georg.” Actually, no. Christmas was not rough, because there were many years in my adult life when I was not with him at the holiday. We would speak on the phone, but we were not together to decorate trees, drink eggnog, open presents, or carve turkeys.
Honestly, January is much harder, because January was always a special Georg time in my life. He liked the beginning of a new year. We always did a lot of talking about what the coming year would hold. This year, he is not here, and I miss him terribly.
Still, there is a new year and it is coming. It will be filled with many surprising things. I don’t know what they are, but I am open to them. I want to think they will be good things. They will be. Good. Things. Georg would say it is so.
Georg would say, “I see, said the little bird, as he flew into the Empire State Building.”
In 2014, let me watch where I am going so I don’t run into things, and let me go wherever I go with some modicum of joy, some spirit of adventure, and an awareness that there is always a greater reality than what I think I see. Georg knew that. Maybe now, so do I.