Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Paris, France

We have landed in Paris but not without trauma. As I've already mentioned, Chip's swollen cheek and subsequent tooth pulling were enough to make our launch difficult, but as he was lying on the couch groaning with the ice pack -- less than 24 hours before our departure -- my sister called to tell me my 81-year-old mom fell and broke her hip.

I had already spent the morning checking on the possibility of canceling our trip in case Chip couldn't fly. As the day wore on, we continued our preparation as my sister talked to my mom's doctors, and it started looking like Chip would be able to make the flight. Mom's doctors said her hip could be fixed with surgery, that she would be in the hospital for a week and then in rehab for another two weeks minimum, basically the duration of our stay in Paris.

My sister and I decided that she would take care of mom through my month in Paris, and that I would fly home after our return.

Mom went into surgery as we were sitting on the runway in Atlanta, leaving me with almost 12 hours without knowing how it went.

One of the hardest things about our life underway is just this. We are often out of contact for long periods. I was torn about leaving the country but decided that, if it became necessary, I could fly back early. I gambled that all would be well.

Our transatlantic flight was so perfect that even the pilot commented on it. We got our bags and took the train to the metro station where we planned to meet the kids. We waited. And waited. In a flashback to their high school years, they overslept and were an hour and a half late!

As soon as we saw them, all was forgotten. We were together, the four of us in Paris, Chip's pain meds were working and, I soon learned, mom's surgery was successful.

Ooh ah ah. Maybe now we can relax.

Our first dinner in our Paris apartment.

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