I told my step-father that a week was too long for anyone to visit, even my celebrity heartthrob crush Javier Bardem.

 

“Nothing personal,” I said. “How about she comes for three or four days? That way, we can end on a high note!”

 

“Too late,” George said. He’d already booked the non-refundable flight. My mother-in-law, on the other hand, is smarter than that. She comes. She stays no more than three days. And she’s off (and probably running!) back to Kansas.

 

Here’s how it’s going.

 

Day One:

 

Even the most seasoned traveler, much less one whose age is in the triple digits, minus 20, plus two would be exhausted and annoyed at Delta Airlines for delaying the flight for seven hours. In Timex terms, it was meant to take off at 8:32 AM but didn’t go up, up and away until 3:45 PM.

 

There’s also the affect it has on those of us left on the ground.

 

Hurrah! I love Paris in the springtime, I mean I love the Major Deegan during rush hour!

 

Still, I wasn’t really complaining. I know how lucky I am to have my mother alive, healthy and fun.

 

Now come on girls, I told you both you were coming to the airport with me to find Gramma. (Note the operative word “find” not “get.”)  This  time, I was ready! I brought my own search party. Nell and Susannah P. to the rescue!  That’s because, inevitably, every single time we go to the airport, we can not find her. We look for her at the gate. No Gramma. We look for her at baggage claim. No Gramma. We look for her by the taxi stand. No Gramma.

 

Within about 30 minutes, I’d hear it: Will Miss Laura Fahrenthold please come to the Delta Airlines Customer Service Counter? Laura Fahrenthold, come to the Delta Airlines Customer Service Counter.

 

“I was looking all over for you!” my Mom would then exclaim, rushing me into her arms as if I were a little kid who got lost it the department store. “I’m so glad I found you honey! I was beginning to get worried.”

 

HA! This time the girls divided and conquered, heading her off by the restrooms.

 

“”We got her, Mom!” Nell called into the cell phone like a bounty hunter. I was waiting by the curb in case she went looking for us there. “She was heading to the bathrooms but Susannah is talking to her right now!”

 

“Hi Gramma. Turn around. I’m right here,” Susannah said. While they hadn’t seen each other since Thanksgiving, that did not change her face. Or her sister’s. They’re still the most beautiful girls in the world.

 

“Oh honey! You look so grown up!” my Mom said, fluttering over her. “And Nell, come here and give me a big hug and kiss! I missed you both so much.”

 

Like clockwork, they both said in unison: “We missed you too Gramma.” And they hugged her back.

 

All I can think is how happy people are to see each other and how sad they are to see them go.

 

Stay tuned for daily reports on My Mother’s Here for a Week!

 

Photo credit: Freehugs.org

 

 

 

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