Even just though just a few days have passed, I am having a hard time remembering the details. I should have been writing as I went, but there was just too much going on and I wanted to ‘live in the moment’ as much as humanly possible.
We arrived at the airport and had to wait for the ticket counter to open. Yep. We were too early. What? You think we were excited to get going? Once the window opened we were told that we could check in at the kiosk. Cool. Done. Tickets printed. But, wait…. my ticket says Mindi Finch. Crap. Tickets must match your ID. My ID is under Malinda Finch. Back to ticket counter. Tell guy the deal. Guy’s response: “Ugh. This is a pain to fix.” Amazingly the fellow to his right was a ‘I know all the tricks.’ whiz. After some lengthy keyboard tapping my ticket was corrected and re-issued. *whew* Thankfully we live in a small city and The OffSpring had their first TSA experience in a nearly empty airport. Of note: TSA employees have zip for personality. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Don’t know if they train them to be that way or they intentionally hire the personality-less population. We headed to the gate and sat to wait some more. All three of them were bouncing back and forth between the windows and our seats. Checking out the planes, offering all kinds of conjecture about the planes in front of them. We boarded our plane and we were split into three separate rows. At first I was bummed out by this, but it turned out to be a GREAT thing. AnnMarie had a window seat, Gregory had a window seat with me beside him and Curtis was in front of us with a window seat. Not sure if DKMS planned it that way, but all three kids got a window seat for their first airplane ride and there was not one ounce of arguing.
*A note on pictures. I don’t have that many. Those that I have are either grainy from my phone or hurried from my camera. Juggling luggage, personal items, three kids and new experiences resulted in my inability to capture much of anything. No big deal, really. Except I can’t download the images in my head to you. what I do have will have to suffice. Also? Curtis is 13yo and extremely teenagery when it comes to the camera. He refuses to let me take his picture.
|How’s your flight, Gregory?|
The flying part was OK for them. Not too terribly exciting. I will say that Curtis had the luck of the draw flying into NYC. He was the only one with a window seat and had the view of Manhattan as we flew in. Turkey. Our layover was Minneapolis and we had a scant 30 minutes to get to our next gate. That airport is HUGE! Not what I expected. They did great and we made our flight. We discovered EARLY that Curtis’ tree trunk legs out flank Gregory’s tooth pick legs by a very large margin. Everyone along the way to our gate knew Curtis’ name. “Curtis, would you slow down.”, “Curtis, wait.”, “Curtis, be respectful to your brother.” etc…..
We landed at LaGuardia and our adventure really began. We made our way to baggage claim and standing among the other drivers, was a man dressed in black holding a sign reading “FINCH”. Talk about surreal. He and Curtis got our luggage, loaded it into the car and off we went to Manhattan. It was 3:00 in the afternoon, local time. The traffic was pretty thin and we made great time. Our home for the next several days was Tribeca at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. Let me tell you, this hotel was very unassuming, yet extremely posh. Which I guess would be the truest from of luxury. It wasn’t until our stay was nearly over that I realized why the lighting was so dim. Out of respect to the privacy of it’s guests. Yes, it was that kind of hotel and neighborhood. Which set my anxiety soaring. Aside from keeping Gregory healthy during this trip, my two biggest worries were keeping The OffSpring safe and fed.
We were checked in, our luggage taken to our rooms. Yes, rooms. We had a one bedroom suite and the adjoining two bed room. Plenty of room for all of us. They had also asked us if we wanted a goldfish in our room. Yes. A goldfish. We have goldfish at home and the OffSpring were tickled to have a friend in the rooms with us.
|Our friend for a few days.|
The OffSpring had heard that NYC was an extremely noisy city. They were worried that they would not be able to sleep over the noise from the street. Our hotel had that covered.
|Part of our view from the two bed room. Crazy parking!|
After we were settled, we headed out to find some grub and get our bearings. Not having any idea of where anything was, where it was safe to walk and what the area had to offer, we headed out to whole foods. I needed to know where a store was, in case I needed anything. As it turned out it was quite far from our hotel. After a long day of travel, AnnMarie and Gregory were spent. They were amazing troopers, though. We got what we needed and headed back. After dinner the OffSpring were ready to crash. They went down and I tried to sleep.
I couldn’t. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that kind of anxiety before. We had three more days ahead of us and I did not know anything. Just thinking about it now sends my heart racing. If the next few days were similar to getting to Whole Foods I was in trouble. We would manage, it just would be a challenge. Gregory has very little endurance and he still had a cough. His wellness is/was/forever will be my first priority. In the spirit of honesty and full disclosure I also need to add….. I had not had a cigarette since we left Spokane. Yes, I smoke. Can’t seem to quit. I’ll get there. Someday. I had hoped that I could abstain during this trip and then be done with the whole mess. Nope. My racing heart, churning stomach and confused brain just could not sleep. I snuck out the door, headed downstairs and had a smoke. Best decision I could have made. My mind quieted, my heart quit racing and I was able to realize that we would be OK. Don’t judge me. Addiction is a beast, compounded by stress and anxiety. This is my reality.
Finally I fell asleep, all was well in our world. We were in NYC and getting ready to meet Gregory’s live-saving bone marrow donor. Amazing things were about to happen.
With an OPEN heart.
|A view from the suite. That’s the new WTC being built in the distance.|