This is the fifth part in a blog series. If you haven’t read the other posts, please do so at the links below before continuing on. It’ll be a lot less confusing, I promise!
The airline losing our luggage seemed almost comical at this point. In the moment, I panicked slightly. The boys and I had just landed in Manila after a whirlwind trip and over 36 hours of traveling. We weren’t supposed to be able to go on this trip because of our visas being up in the air. Then, all of a sudden, four hours before we were meant to get on the plane, immigration called us and our visas got sorted! A delay on our first flight caused us to miss our connections. After an unexpected night in London and a couple of new flights, we had finally made it to the Philippines, but now we had a two and a half week trip in front of us and didn’t have any clothes or toiletries!
My priority at that point was to contact my Aunt. My Uncle was somewhere in the airport waiting for us. In a couple hours, we would be surprising my parents and sisters with even being in the Philippines! I filled out the necessary paperwork with the ladies at the luggage counter. They would try to locate our bags and promised to get them to us as soon as possible, which in the end was nearly a week later! One of the ladies allowed me to use her cell phone to call my Aunt at the house.
“Auntie, we’re here at the airport, but they’ve lost our luggage!”
“That’s okay, we can go to the shop.” She was calm, and I could hear my Mom talking to someone in the background. They didn’t seem to suspect anything. My Uncle was at the airport and had been waiting for us. We just needed to walk outside to meet him.
The boys and I picked up our backpacks and made our way out of the baggage area. There was my Uncle. I apologized for the long wait.
“It’s okay. I could actually see you the whole time. I thought, ‘There’s two boys with a short lady. That must be them!'” Thanks Uncle!
We got in the van and started the two hour drive back to their place.
There’s something that seems to happen, at least to me, when I’m away from my family for a long time. Like part of me goes to sleep. Life goes on in the day to day, being a wife and mom, doing ministry and enjoying the community we have in Cork, but part of me isn’t really part of that. Then, when I’m with my sisters and parents again, that part wakes up. There’s an ease, and a joy, and it feels like home, even if you’re not at home.
Walking into my Aunt and Uncle’s house, surprising my family, was incredible. The boys walked in first, which elicited some genuinely surprised and excited yelling! When I walked in, my sister Robin ran full force and nearly knocked me to the ground! Next was my younger sister, Priscilla. Hugging and crying and smiling and laughing! I looked over to see my Mom, standing with her hands on the table she’d been sitting at.
“I’m not surprised,” she said, emotions in her voice. “I knew you’d be coming. I didn’t know how, but I knew you’d be coming.”
I walked over and hugged her. We were there, together.
This isn’t the end of the story! I have SO MANY pictures to share! So please come back tomorrow 🙂