Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Remind me to never complain about a delayed flight

Remember how yesterday I was telling you about all the responsibilities Kate graciously handled while B and I were away? And about how Maggie was so sick the night before we left to come home? Kate wasn’t the only one to not sleep that night. I didn’t sleep a wink either. Worry doesn’t even begin to explain this mama’s inner struggle.

The next morning, I was up early, showered, and ready to go before anyone else in our group, of that I am certain. When you don’t sleep the night before, you pretty much can’t wait for the morning to come.

And I figured, silly I know, that if I got up early and got myself ready, that we could get on the plane just that much sooner and head home to where I really needed to be.

I know. I know. Those darn planes don’t leave a minute before they’re ready to leave. And for some reason, ours decided it didn’t want to leave on time. It wanted to sit a spell before we took off.

Apparently “a spell” is exactly two hours because that is the amount of time our flight was delayed. Two hours!

Now, Heathrow airport is a haven for duty free shoppers but since 1) I don’t like to shop and 2) I’ve never been one to stock up on liquor and cigarettes and 3) I’ve never been able to think of “duty free” as anything more than a scam, I basically sat in the airport biting my nails and getting mad at the gate agent for not letting us on the plane RIGHT NOW! DON’T-YOU-KNOW-MY-DAUGHTER-IS-SICK?!

Apparently they didn’t care.

Finally, FINALLY, they called us to our gate, and we waited to board our plane. As we stood in line, my phone rang. Weird. My phone had not rung the entire trip, and now, just as we were about to board the plane, my phone was ringing.

I had a sick feeling this was about Maggie.


Mom?!” I can hear the panic in Kate’s voice. I begin to think the worst about Maggie.

“Yes? What’s wrong?”

“Mom, it’s been raining all night and we’re starting to flood!”

Now this is NOT what I was expecting at all. First of all, our basement is double, triple, quadrupally (is that a word?) protected from flooding, and only because we have flooded so many times in the past. Three, to be exact.

Let’s just say that Allstate and us aren’t such good neighbors anymore.

Even though we have four sump pumps (that’s right, four) and a back-up generator for when the power goes out, we still sometimes need to use an ejector pump in the laundry tub where all the yucky water from our sewers comes up.

And that was the case that Saturday morning. Even though the power hadn’t gone out, the water was still coming up through the laundry tub. I guess seven inches of rain will do that.

Poor Kate, who had not slept all night long because of worry over her sister and now the soaking downpour we were getting, was up to her armpits in sewer water. And she was worried sick that our basement would flood yet again.

Unless you’ve been through it, you have no idea how traumatic a flood can be.

Thankfully, B was able to calmly (a miracle in itself!) talk her through how to find the ejector pump, how to hook up the hose and then open the window to put the hose out, and finally, how to plug in the whole contraption (dry your hands and feet first!). Kate, miraculously, was able to follow B’s instructions and get the pump working, saving our basement from certain catastrophe.

Let me tell you, I could not get home fast enough. After all the trials my poor daughter had encountered that week, this topped them all. Handling a flood is a terrible thing, even for an adult, but for an 18-year-old just on the cusp of adulthood, this was a bit much.

People have asked me if I was proud of my daughter for all she handled while we were gone. Proud doesn’t even begin to cover it. I am amazed by her strength. I am in awe of her grace. I am thankful for her cheerful attitude.

She taught me so much.

And let me just say an obvious word about God’s timing. If our plane had been on time that morning we would have been already in the air by the time Kate found our overflowing laundry tub. She would have had no idea what to do, and would have probably done her best to bail water as quickly as she could. But in the end, she would have felt guilty if our basement would have flooded, somehow taking on the responsibility for the flood herself.

Thanks be to God for delayed flights, that’s all I have to say.

I was reminded that morning that there is always a reason for those delays. None of the people on our flight knew that the delay was just for us (*wink, wink*), but I know. I am so thankful that Kate was able to get through to us, and I am so thankful that God’s timing was perfect.

And I'm so thankful that my daughter is ready for anything.



  1. My dad always, always, always said that there was a reason for things that we think are an incovenience to us.

    I'm glad you were spared all that mess. We too have had tons of flooding in our basement over the past 13 years. I feel your pain.

  2. Many years ago my mom was running me into town for some school function. Just as we were about to walk out the door our dishwasher started leaking. Water was pouring onto the floor. Of course we stopped, mom turned off the dishwasher and we mopped up the water. We then headed into town, with my mom intending to come back home and figure out what happened once she dropped me off at school. We we got to the highway, we came upon a car accident that had happened just a few minutes before. To this day my mother and I both believe that God used that dishwasher (which had never leaked before, and never leaked sense) to delay us. If we hadn't been delayed, I believe we would have been in that accident. So yes, I praise God for every red light, every ringing telephone, every small "inconvenience" that He is using to protect me!

  3. Yep, as my husband always says, "There are no accidents."

  4. Well said Shelly! You even made me tear-up! You have alot to be proud of in your daughter.