Monday, November 23, 2009

The best made plans...

I am a planner. I have to have all my "ducks in a row"..."my T's crossed"..."my I's dotted" get the idea...before I do anything. I am a master planner, and at least one of my little birds has inherited that trait...and one...not so much!

So, months ago I had this grand plan when purchasing airline tickets for Leigh, Carrie and the kids to come here for Thanksgiving. My plan was to have Leigh meet Carrie on the layover so that they could travel the last leg of the trip together. An extra set of hands always comes in handy!

The last few weeks have been unsettling to say the least...and we are still reeling from the the heartbreaking loss of Carter. None of us is functioning with a clear mind...and may I add restless nights with little sleep. Most days we just don't think clearly.

So Sunday day! I was ecstatic when I went to bed the night before because the next day I would have most of the "flock" back in the nest. Will was not scheduled to arrive until expectations just get in the way sometimes!

My honey and I awakened to the phone ringing at 6am...this can not be good. Carrie was on her way to the airport...already late as her flight was to leave in an hour...she had gotten off work just a few hours before...had not slept...Cailyn had woken up earlier and had not gone back to sleep. Tension was in the air. But that was not all. Carrie could not find her wallet with her license OR her passport. She was in quite a pickle stressing about not being able to get on the plane.

After finding the phone number for the airline, she called and found out that she could still board the plane...good news for all of us...but it would take a bit longer than normal to check in and process her because of it. This news, however, added more stress as she was already late getting to the airport. Needless to say...she did not make her flight. My stomach was just a mess...none of us needed this wrinkle in my grand plan at this point in time.

She and Cailyn sat on standby for the next available flight which would arrive around the same time that her connection was to leave. We contacted Leigh...putting her on she could let the nice folks know at the airport the predicament Carrie was in. Maybe by chance they would hold the plane for her. Maybe???

Nope. Leigh's flight out of Minneapolis had been delayed because of a mechanical problem, and she did not know that the nice people at the airline had already put her on another connecting flight because she was going to miss the original one. Are you with me yet? So much for the grand plan.

Leigh arrives at the midpoint and gets on a shuttle bus to head towards the flight she thinks she is still on...time is ticking...only a few minutes to spare. On that bus were Carrie and Cailyn...thank you God for that answered prayer...and they "O.J.'d" it through the airport to the next gate. None of them had slept at this point as Leigh had just gotten off the night shift and went straight to the airport.

They arrived at the gate to find that the nice people at the airline had already closed the door and they would not be able to board. At this point Leigh found out that she was scheduled to leave on another flight which left in a few hours. Carrie on the other hand was flightless. After much conversation and checking best scenarios, the nice people at the airline came up with this one. Carrie and Cailyn would be leaving shortly for a flight to Washington, DC then catching a connecting flight to Allentown, PA from there arriving about an hour after Leigh. So much for my grand plan!

Fast Forward...I arrive at the airport to pick up Leigh, and Nevin (Leigh's honey) who was arriving about the same time...he had been on a different flight than Leigh...and up to this point had a smooth traveling day. Leigh got there first and we headed to baggage claim. Yikees! Her bag was not there...BUT Carrie and Cailyn's were! She went to make a claim for her bag and ran into Nevin, who had just arrived...however his bag had not either!!! What a nightmare!!! This was not part of the grand plan!

Well, they are all here safe and sound...except for Will who I am praying does not have ANY of this nonsense to deal with. They did find Leigh's bag at the airport before we left there...tucked away for safety by the nice people at the airline. We are sitting here awaiting the delivery of Nevin's bag at our door. He may never want to come to PA again after all this!

The one thing I should remember about all of this does not matter how much planning I do...or how many ducks I line up...or T's I cross...or I's I may dot...I AM NOT IN CONTROL!!! The real MASTER PLANNER had another plan than mine...and I must believe that His was better. After all, they are all here safe and sound...bonding...loving...being thankful for time together!

We do have so much to be thankful for, in spite of our cloudy minds...sleepless nights...and broken hearts. Being together makes everything a little more bearable.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and your precious families from all of the Wilkinsons!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Little Man in a Tuxedo

That's how long it took to receive the most devastating news of our lives. That's the length of the cell phone call from our daughter, Carrie, on the morning of November 1...the day our lives changed forever.

October 31...Halloween...a double treat for Cailyn Rose. Not only was it her second birthday, but she got to go "trick or treating" with her brother, Carter, and her Mommy, Carrie. What a fun way to spend your birthday!

The day was filled with fun. Carrie, Chris and our grandlittle birds...along with a few favorite friends...spent the day at Paradise Park. After naps, they got dressed in their Halloween costumes...Cailyn was "Dorothy" and Carter was a penguin. Little man in a tuxedo. They went out with Mommy and some friends to fill up their pumpkins with treats. What a fun day!

That happy day was Carter's last day. He smiled a lot that day. I waited until quite late that night for Carrie to post pictures on Facebook of the two of them in their costumes. Dorothy and the penguin. The cutest penguin I have ever seen.

Penguins...they are all around. Suddenly I am surrounded by penguins.

Is this coincidence? I think not. I do not believe in coincidences. I believe that God is the director of all that happens here. I believe that He takes horrible tragedies, and from them brings about something positive. I believe that He sends us signs to let us know that He is in control. Signs like penguins.

A few days after Carter died, Carrie, Cailyn and I went to the hospital to take care of some paperwork. We got lost in the building and asked a maintenance man for directions to the office. After pointing us in the right direction he asked Carrie if he could give Cailyn a little ball. While we waited in the room Cailyn played with that ball. Carrie and I both rolled it back and forth with her. It landed at a woman's feet, and she picked it up to return it...and said..."oh, look, my favorite thing!" Inside the ball was a penguin. Coincidence?

Two days later we went to the nail salon for a much needed "pick me up"! Cailyn was playing with the very few toys provided there when she climbed up into the chair next to Carrie with a plastic toy in her hand...yep...a penguin! Coincidence?

The next night Carrie's girlfriends came over to watch Grey's Anatomy...a Thursday night tradition for them. One of the girls took Cailyn and another little one into Carrie's room to watch Dora during that hour. She was having difficulty getting the On Demand to work, and kept getting an error message on the TV screen. It would not allow her to change the channel that was on. And, playing on that channel was ..a penguin movie! Coincidence?

After spending 2 weeks with Carrie in Missouri, I arrived home late Saturday night. I mentioned to my honey that I would like to go to our old church the next day. I needed to be around my family and good friends there, who had been praying for us for the past weeks. During the worship service there is a time for the young church where a lesson is geared towards all the little people. The lesson for that day was taken from a story book about...penguins! Coincidence?


I hope that God continues to show me these signs that he is taking good care of our precious grandlittle bird. I hope that Carter is still smiling...watching us receive all these signs.

I hope that someday when I go "home", a little man in a tuxedo is waiting for me at the gate.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Will Always Love You

My sweet grandlittle bird Carter,
I just didn't have the chance to get to know your smile,
To hold you in my arms and and rock you a long while.
I just didn't have the chance to see how much you'd grown,
the way you sucked your fingers, and rolled over on your own.
I just didn't have the chance to hear your little "coos",
to see you get your hugs and kisses... from big sister "Boo".
But I did get to be there when you first opened your eyes,
When you took your first breath, and began your too short life.
My sweet and precious grandson, I will carry you in my heart
From now until enternity, we will never be apart.
And I will get the chance to be with you once again
When I come to be with Jesus, your new and special friend.
I love you with all my heart, Grandy