It is hard to comprehend that I am sitting here in my kitchen on a Wednesday when I was playing in the waves of the Mediterranean Sea on Monday. We left zero margin and miraculously made every single connection. The Italian rail system is notoriously unreliable. On our way to Rome we had an hour and a half delay. If that had happened this week, our whole schedule would have been toast.
I am having difficulty wrapping my puny little mind around the events of this summer. This trip was not what we signed up for. I find some comfort in the, sometimes wrongly used, pacifier verse, Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called to according to his purpose”. The verse doesn’t apply to those who a: do not love God and/or b: are not called according to his purpose. Was this trip God’s calling for our family or did I ram-rod my agenda? I probably will not know the answer to that question, this side of eternity.
We all made it home in one piece, not permanently maimed or worse. That is something that I take great comfort in! I know a few fathers who have had the experience of having their kids involved in horrible car crashes and miraculously walk away from the wreckage. The overwhelming feeling is of thankfulness that the child wasn’t killed or severely injured. As time passes he may have tinges of guilt as he mourns the loss of the car. I am exceedingly grateful that Anna and Ella will be okay. It was truly Gods hand of protection and His provision of the right people being in the right place at the right time. It is with guilt that I mentally whine about the years of planning, saving and anticipation of this amazing cycling experience, only to turn out to be not much of a cycling experience at all. We still had an incredible experience and we met most of the objectives of the trip, namely: family bonding, exposure to different cultures and education-international travel fires new synapse in the old gray mater like none other.
Advise for other who may want to take on such an adventure:
1) buy travel insurance and make sure your medical insurance is international
2) try to travel in places or at times when the exchange rate is favorable. To use a Perotism “that giant sucking sound” was money coming out of our bank account.
3) When your kids are still sleeping with doll babies and stuffed animals, it is probably not a good idea to let them cycle independently. Although, I wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone by mentioning names but her initials are Sarah Kinsinger, is fifteen-years-old and she still likes to sleep with a frayed fragment of her baby blanket “bubby”.
Ella and Anna showed tremendous courage in the midst of their injuries. Sarah AKA “arms” was very patient and generally compassionate as she had to carry/feed/wash, more than her share. Benjamin was a master of getting dirty/climbing/bouncing off things/entertaining us. Last but not least, I need to give a shout out to Andrea, my life partner and companion. I am so thankful to have a beautiful wife that loves to play and is able to compliment me and bring reality to my dreams. She’s an amazing woman! Thanks to all who have kept up and prayed for us along the way. We feel loved.