It was midnight by the time I finished packing. I had two hours before I needed to start getting ready for the airport. It was silly to even bother going to bed, but I had it in my head that I’d fare better in my travels if I could just get an hour and a half of sleep.
I blame Facebook for implanting this notion in my head. Because I’m sure that’s where I read that 90 minutes was the optimal length of time for a nap. (If I read it on Facebook, it must be true, right?)
With visions of missed flights dancing in my head, I set two alarms. I even checked them twice.
Ten minutes later – or so it seemed – the first alarm went off. I silenced it with a practiced hand and settled back against my nest of pillows. Closing my eyes, I prepared myself to make the most of the handful of minutes until the second alarm sounded.
Only it didn’t.
The next thing I knew, it was 2:40. Precariously close to the 3:15 departure time I had planned. Especially given the fact that I had to not only shower, but also undertake a minor luggage restructuring. (I was a little too close to the airline’s weight limit on at least one of my two bags, and I wanted a bit more breathing room.)
Lord knows what time I would have finally woken up if not for my savior: my mother. Or Mumsy as I’ve got most people calling her. (Much to her chagrin, I might add.)
I was so grateful that she came to my rescue that I’ll forgive her the fact that she was up at 2:30. And when she didn’t see me up and about, decided that rather than start her search in the most obvious of places (my bed!), she’d take a look in the garage first.
Really, Mumsy. The garage?
Before you think me an ungrateful wretch, please know that, once we were en route to the airport and my nerves had settled, we had a good laugh about this. And she knows she my undying gratitude for coming to my rescue. (I thanked her every 5 minutes in my frantic race to get out the door and then every 3 ½ minutes on the ride.)
It wasn’t the first time, of course. I couldn’t begin to document all the many occasions – and ways – in which this amazing woman has been there for me. I’d like to think it works both ways, but let’s be honest, we’ll never be “even.”
I owe her so much, for everything from bringing me into this world up to and including what is perhaps the biggest show of support of all.
No, I’m not talking about making sure I didn’t miss my flight. Or that she’s kept her ribbing to a minimum after having to pick up the pitching wedge I so carelessly left on the ninth green after our golf league a couple of weeks ago. (Typically it’s the other way around.)
It’s the fact that she understands my need to hit pause on my career path. She may not be completely in love with the idea, but I like to think she’s proud of me for making the rather gutsy decision to take some time to write. And she also understands, at least to a certain extent, my desire to do it in different surroundings.
Because by making sure I got to the airport in time to make my flight – bound once more for the Dominican Republic – she was making sure my dreams didn’t get derailed before I even got started.
Thank you, Mumsy. For always being there for me. For understanding me better than I sometimes understand myself. For always having my back. For always being up for a crazy adventure. For all you’ve taught me about life, unconditional love and the importance of making a difference in this world one moment and one person at a time.
Even if you do sometimes forget I’m not longer 15.
Yes, my father was and is my hero. But so are too.
Love you, Mumsy.