Sunday, May 10, 2009

Visiting With My Niece, Helena

My job includes travel in the US and sometimes Canada. Most people that do not travel think that traveling for work is great. I disagree. When traveling, I have to sleep in a foreign bed, am away from John, have to eat out every meal (and I prefer to cook to control the ingredients), am away from friends and family, miss social events, get out of the normal routines in life, etc. I do not see the greatness in it at all! I rarely get to see or do anything fun while traveling for work. It is way more of a hassle than it is great.

Depending on the location, I generally spend many hours in an airport and/or flying and am exhausted when I arrive to my destination. By the time I settle in, I am already behind on work and email and have to spend several hours catching up on things from the office. The meetings that I facilitate usually keep me busy throughout the whole day and I do not always have access to email during the meeting, thus putting me behind at work again. It is a vicious cycle and it is rare that I actually get to do anything fun or for myself. Still, nothing glamorous or great that I can identity.

However, in a recent trip to Fort Worth I felt compelled to take time to see my brother, his wife and my niece. I just could not be a half hour away from them and not see sweet Helena (and of course David and Rhea). One evening we met and went to dinner near the hotel where I was staying.

We had several hours to catch up and I was able to hold Helena. In the month I had been away from her, she had become more interactive. She now seemed engaged in eye contact and curious about the world. She even smiled if you used a kind voice or smiled at her. I was delighted to see her toothless, lovable smile and take in her sweet smell.

I am disappointed that it will be a while until I see her again. David, Rhea, and Helena are planning a trip to North Carolina, but I do not know when. Whenever it is, it will not be soon enough and for long enough. I wish there was a shorter distance between us so that we could play a more considerable role in her life and up bringing. I also wish for my parents to be closer to their only grandchild.

I just hope my brother will send us more pictures of Helena as she develops. As of now, we have only received several from him and it is not enough to satisfy our Helena fix. If you are reading this David, please send us pictures soon and often!