End of a holiday. For the most part; a time of switching off, resting, lying in the sun, swimming, drinking cocktails and a little bit of shopping in the Cancun Plazas, surrounded by clear blue seas and blazing sunshine. But the end of a holiday and the journey home can always be a little bit flat. Knowing that every mile travelled is taking you that little bit closer back to life’s reality.
And this journey home was particularly horrendous. Two flights … one four hour from Cancun to New York, one six hour from New York to London. I was ill. Actually very ill. And every mile counted.
In a nutshell, I picked up some sort of sickness and tummy bug on the last day and couldn’t even retain water. I got dehydrated to the point of collapsing on the floor and at one point, I was nearly not allowed to fly and ended up in the hospital wing of Cancun airport, on a drip being given fluids. And that was before I even got on the first plane. I was pretty much out of it in my head for a lot of the time as I was wheel-chaired from plane to plane. It was a pretty horrific journey home. It’s rough being so ill when you are not at home in your own bed with privacy to be how you feel!
Now I could go on and tell you all the details and harp on about the whole ‘terrible’ experience. But who really wants to listen to all that? A friend got me thinking when I got home. It’s quite natural for us to want to tell our friends and family our woes in order to rally up some sympathy and dress our wounds in the compassionate and understanding words that spring forth! I was relaying the trip and said that at one point I didn’t think I was going to ever make it home. To which the response came in one simple line, ‘But Ab, you are home’. I got it. That friend wasn’t not being compassionate or caring. They were keeping me focused on what was important. The fact that whatever had gone before, I was home. And already beginning to feel better. It could have been worse. And it was fine.
And I suddenly started looking for any positives in what had felt like such a negative experience. There were so many! In that journey home, there were many many people who helped us, showed care and went above and beyond to ensure we were able to get home.
There was the Mexican airport attendant that first spotted I wasn’t well and from nowhere produced a wheelchair, whisked us through to check our bags and got me to the hospital. He went on later to buy me vitamin water to ensure I maintained my intake of fluids. There was the Mexican doctor who did all he could to make sure he got me well enough to fly in time. There was a particular air hostess who went out of her way to do what she could to get me through the New York to London flight. There were people that helped get us from flight to flight, pushed me, took cases, worked out details, reassured us … the list goes on and on. In the practical terms of navigating airports and getting through security etc, it was easier and less stressful than usual! No queuing and special provisions!
And I had Luke. Who, above all was brilliant, travelling home with an extra piece of tricky baggage in the form of a sick wife! He didn’t complain, he didn’t show a chink of worry, he didn’t panic … he kept calm and did a great job at doing what he could to look after me – despite what he tells me now was actually going on beneath the surface!
And the fact is we made it. And I’m well. And it’s already faded into just another funny story in the life of Abigail Talmage. And that’s just where it belongs. No one needs drama, hype, negativity, sadness, unnecessary worry – they need happiness, laughter and good news!