Remember that scene from Home Alone (the first one) where the whole family is rushing through the airport to make their flight on time? The family running in panic through the terminal… The bags and children being dragged along… The yelling and chaos… The John Williams double-time score speeding things along… Well, that’s what I imagined my first missed flight would be like.
It didn’t really go down like that for me this morning.
Succinctly, a collective series of unpropitious events brought me to gate D-5 as the 747 was taxiing away from the terminal jet bridge with my empty seat. The discompassionate attendant at the counter informed me that I was “five minutes too late” for my Baltimore to Dallas flight. Five minutes.
A few phone calls, a flight reservation change, and a second security screening later and I am now waiting within the bowels of Baltimore-Washington International Airport for another seat, on another flight. I am flying to Dallas in a couple of hours to spend some time with my dad.
On so many of my previous visits, dad and I made plans for backyard croquet campaigns, watching our Texas Rangers, fishing ponds around the Caddo National Grasslands, drinking Shiner, and smoking large cuts of beef. But this time will be a bit different. On this trip I will be joining many who are caring for my dad while his body is fighting sickness.
My dad has endured much over the past 8 years in his battle with cancer. Three stem cell transplants. Numerous surgeries. Countless invasive procedures and tests. I have written about my dad’s story over the past few years; a story that has had so many amazing moments. Dad’s medical care is carefully watched over by a team of doctors, nurses, and professionals who monitor and care for him. In March, the team decided they needed to run a few more tests to sort out what appeared to be a virus. There are many hundreds of acronyms connected to my dad’s medical care, but recently, we have been discussing GVHD and CMV more than any others. Weeks later and the medical team is beginning to see some signs of improvement in my dad’s body.
When I missed my flight earlier this morning, it wasn’t some insurmountable obstacle. And neither is this sickness
And neither is this cancerous sickness that has taken up residence in my dad.
Sometimes we are caught standing in a busy terminal as our seat leaves without us. Flights get missed. Sickness invades. Tension happens because tension is synonymous with life. Arrivals and departures are part of the rhythm God has entrusted to us.
But, I will be arriving soon.