Sitting in Starbucks at LAX last night, surrounded by most of my family, I couldn't believe my good fortune: that I was actually going to get to go to El Salvador to see Brenna. It's like Christmas already for me! My life has been torture for me navigating the medical world, enduring hour after hour in the ER, being punished with a broken furnace (which means a cold house, AND having to research and pay for something that doesn't even make home better--it only gets me back even.), and various other slings and arrows, like a stressful deposition. When I got on the plane at 11:30pm for the five-hour flight, I knew I was actually going to get to see Brenna and have my family back together again. Halleluah!
She was happy to see us, and had freshly-baked scones and tea waitning at her house. Other families are coming, too, and we were on the plane with Marijke's family. It's fun seeing her beautiful home and neighborhood and getting to meet her team mates whom I've heard so much about. I had to chuckle at the neatly printed schedule on her white board delineating the events of the day: 5:15 drive to airport, etc.)...Naturally it would be in HER handwriting. She's the baker and planner of the team. It was like Christmas for her already when she opened the suitcase full of items we brought at her request: a five-poound bag of chocolate chips, Trader Joe's trail mix, Costco yeast, and moleskin journals from Barnes and Noble. Our hotel, which is walking distance to Brenna's house, is darling. It has a Salvadorian feel and is only one year old. I can feel the stress melting away.
On another note...Yesterday I found out that they caught the man who stole my mom's wedding ring just before she died. Mom and Dad had commissioned the ring to be made in Hawaii, and it was incredibly sentimental to me and impossibly irreplaceable. The thief has confessed, and only has this one case against him. I'm hoping against hope that he can give us information about where he sold the ring that would enable us to track it down. The police have been helpful and kind in this matter.
People have a hard time remembering where she is. One pastor prayed for her in front of church "Please bless Brenna in Costa Rica." Another person told us to have a great time in Equador. When we landed I got a text from Verizon "Welcome to Guatamala." Friends ask frequently "How's Brenna doing in Honduras?" When you haven't been to Central America (and perhaps even if you have) the countries seem the same. But it's easy to remember when you know El Salvador means the Savior. He's the reason for the season, and I feel it's very appropriate to be celebrating his birth in a country named for him.