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Jan 28, 2010

Happy Birthday! Pass the Xanax.

Sam and Lena and I trekked to Newcomerstown on Tuesday to spend the day with Mom and Dad for Dad’s birthday. The morning sky was awash in bright winter sunshine that warmed the inside of the van as we drove. The kids fell asleep instantly, all snug in their car seats. I called Jen to break up the quiet monotony of the road noise. Lost in her heartbreaking story of unrequited love as I drove, I was suddenly snapped back to reality when my van stopped accelerating. In a panic I coasted to a nearby exit where, after a frantic call to Rich, I got the car running again. I was a nervous mess. But I drove on to Mom and Dad’s and made it without further incident.

Mom made a big lunch, and we talked and laughed and played until Dad came home from work. Then we ate and talked and laughed and played some more. It was a great, albeit too-short, visit and, even with the looming sense of dread that hovered knowing I would have to put my babies back in a van that may not be functioning properly, I’m glad we made the trip. My parents are the essence of comfort and joy and home to me. We are blessed that we live close enough and have schedules that allow us to spend time with them.

So it was with my nerves on the top of my skin, a prayer on my lips, and sweat pits the size of grapefruits that we started off for home. I was determined to get us back to Columbus. But that determination led to about 15 more breakdowns between Newcomerstown and Newark until, finally, I surrendered defeat alongside the freeway and called for help. A Jehovah Witness church just off an exit was our coasted-to refuge until Rich and the tow truck arrived.

In the end, we all got home safe and sound, had the van repaired, and our world is right again. But I learned a few things through this minor upheaval.

• I sweat. A lot.
• I can keep it together pretty well when I need to. (There were no witnesses to my meltdown as the adrenaline rush I was operating under finally gave way in that church parking lot, so I’m not counting that.)
• I am blessed to be surrounded by such a loving, supportive, concerned family.
• God is good. His calming presence and name (prayerfully and expletively) made many appearances in the van that day.
• My husband is my rock, and I love him to disgusting degrees.
• I should seriously consider seeking medical attention for the sweating thing.

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