Best Bad Day Ever

    Monday was a bad day.  Honestly, it was the best bad day ever.

    It began with a bunch of goodbyes.  I was headed off to a conference in Orlando, a conference that I had misplaced in time.  I knew I had signed up for it.  I had wanted to go when I signed up for it those 12 months ago.  But I had no idea it this month until only 6 days ago.  So in a hurry I booked a flight, got a place to stay, and took care of flattening out my schedule.

    Alas, my family was going to suffer on this one.  I had intentionally wrecked Saturday and Sunday, planning to have a wonderful Monday to reconnect and be present.  But this forgotten conference now meant I was driving away while the kids were in school after now seeing them all weekend long.  I felt it.  They felt it.  On Sunday night, my daughter kept waking up crying because she didn’t want me to leave while she was in school.

    So, I drop the kids off.  They won’t let go.  I go home and pack and make some last minute decisions to make my time down there functional.  I drive slow to the airport in a car with no radio, tired and not pumped for the coming conference.  I mean, I like the topic of the conference.  I love the speakers.  And I am hoping there is some wisdom and strength to be gained… but all I could do on Monday was just get there and hope that God was going to use it for good.

    On the way out the door, I get binged that the flight is delayed.  For a moment hope rises.  Maybe I can say goodbye to the kids before I bail.  Alas, the airline says there is a delay, but they advise all ticketed passengers to be there an hour before the “original listed time.”  So I drive to Detroit to sit in an airport until some unforeseen time.  

    Airport parking, ticketing, security, all is fine.  I go to my gate and sit down.  And the phone dings again.  I pull it out of my pocket to see an email from my airline.  I fire it up and stare at it in disbelief.  My flight has been cancelled.  No reason given.  No offer to help change my itinerary.  I’m out.  I call the airline from right there at the once promising gate, and they very kindly tell me I am not going to Orlando.  They can give me a ticket a future time, or I can get a refund.  But they have no intention of tying to get me to my destination this night.  

    It is now 4p, and I shuttle back to a no AC having vehicle and begin the trek home through rush hour traffic.  Metro Detroit, woof.  By the time I pull back into my driveway, I had just burned 6 hours to accomplish absolutely nothing.  I dragged my sorry sweaty self out of the car and stood on the sidewalk.  I stood there tired, annoyed, worn, and sweaty.  I stood there smiling big.  Cause running down the sidewalk were two giddy children.  Laughing and surprised.  They ran as only children do, with no care for how they look or what might people might think.  They run with their whole heart, smiling the whole time.  They crash into me, not slowing at all.  And we laugh.  And we hug. 

    So, I write this from the home office.  It was kind of a crap day.  But man am I glad it happened.