October 5, 2010

The Big Surprise, Part Four

Posted in Trek through Italy at 2:43 PM by goingbeyondzebra

It had arrived. The final day of Mark’s visit was now here, and a cloud of sadness fell over our otherwise exuberant selves. The Harrell’s graciously offered to drive Mark the two plus hours to the airport which meant he wouldn’t have to ride the trains again and I could go with them to say goodbye. So, at 5:00 AM Sunday morning, we loaded up and headed to the airport.

Mark and I spent most of the journey in silence, nodding off a lot due to the early hour, and holding hands all the while so we could feel together till the last possible moment. I had promised myself not to cry, and somehow managed to keep that promise to myself even as we entered the airport and found his check-in counter. His flight was not for several hours, but we had to leave fairly soon to try to make it back to church. We did have a few more moments before having to leave however, so we all headed over to a breakfast kiosk and enjoyed some brioches and coffee (or orange juice, in Mark’s case).

The Harrells gave us some time alone (as alone as you can be in a busy airport), and we talked over how it would be just a few short weeks till I would come home and we’d get to see each other again, and how great of a visit it had been. And though we each tried to remain cheerful, both of our hearts were aching with the realization that we were soon going to be separated by an entire ocean once more.

All too soon the time came to say good-bye. Mark and I headed over to his check-in and pulled together in one final hug. We whispered “goodbye” and “I love you”, and then we were walking away. He headed towards his counter, past the “passenger’s only” area, and I headed outside to the car with the Harrells. Our goodbyes were over, and though we were sad to be separated again, we could now look forward to being with each other soon, and to the excitement of getting to spend the rest of our lives together.

Thus ended The Big Surprise. It was an amazing and incredible week that I will never forget and that I am sure I will continue to share with others, even down to my children and grandchildren as the years continue.

Farewell for now. Here’s wishing you all a day of love and tenderness with the cherished ones in your lives, whoever and wherever they may be.

Robyn Dooley


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