I started this on the Tuesday, June 19th. I've been far too busy to process. It's been a whirlwind...but I believe our women received valuable training this weekend. We adjusted the schedule to do my final "charge" and commissioning before dinner. I then left for the train station. It felt WRONG to leave so many things for others to take care of....not right at ALL....and yet...it's time. I did the really important things I wanted to do....I know Cathy and the rest of the W.I.L.D. Team will take care of the clean up and really I know they WANT to help in a tangible way. So....here I am at Haneda airport....and realizing while I've needed to stuff the events of the past week in order to "do the next thing" and function as I needed to for W.I.L.D.....NOW....I have time to sit and think and process.....
Saturday night at W.I.L.D. Korea I realized, I nearly died a year ago. I planned to be on the train that disappeared in the tsunami and hasn't been found. This March we were told Michael nearly died and he had surgery. I realized we've had far too many close brushes with death this year. I prayed God would redeem the hard times of the past year.....and I got on the plane and flew to Tokyo.
The next morning I heard Dad G has died. I thought I was prepared for this news - but it was HARD to call Michael and not be there to tell him. Michael's encouragement is always to be faithful, faithful, faithful....and God blesses with fruitful. So I stayed in Tokyo. God gives much grace and W.I.L.D. carried on. The family travel plans have changed about 20,000 times in the past week...but finally...here I am waiting for them to show up on a flight from Misawa. We have much to process together. I've been asked how I feel...sad, joyful, tickled to imagine the conversations Dad G and Peter are having, tired and numb....all the normal feelings of grief.
I also realized in the midst of this: I LOVE MY LIFE. In the past days I've traveled alone on domestic trains, international flight to Korea, back to Tokyo, more domestic trains and today subways, trains and monorails....and another international flight coming up. I love mentoring women. I love the confidence God has blessed me with in the past few years.
For instance, today....I jumped on the train...alone...armed only with a screen shot from hyperdia.com. Evidently, American women traveling in cheetah print, schlepping a big suitcase, laptop bag and "ginormous Leadsportsac purse (carry on)" are not the norm. ::snort:: I loved conversing with the elderly group of Japanese women (and one man) who had evidently taken the train to the outskirts of Tokyo and spent the day hiking. They were very concerned I was not taking the "correct route" to Haneda. I got off at Tokyo Station and was figuring out where to catch the line that Hyperdia recommended...when a local man said, "Just follow me." I did.....up and down and around....I thanked God for a gentlemen but did think he could have offered to carry my big suitcase. ::snort:: He took me to a train that took me to a station that begins with an H and was not on ANY of my internet searches....I decided it would be best to just trust him.....He found a man in line who was COMING to Haneda airport. I had another travel buddy. Turns out he has a daughter who married an American in San Francisco. He was twin grand-daughters. He is a retired elementary principal and now teaches at college in Aomori (up near us)....he gave me the name of an onsen I need to go try in the mountains....and told me all about his darling, incredibly brilliant grand-daughters. I went a totally different way than I planned, but I got here fast and I was glad to get here fast. LOL
Photos won't load - maybe later. I think my family will be here very soon. Free wifi - but NO CHAIRS...guess they want to make sure you are considerate. LOL
Living all of life before the face of God...