Last weekend, my daughter headed to North Carolina with her future in-laws (Lee and Cheryl) to welcome home our Marine, Adam, who has been serving in Afghanistan for more than seven months. There were months that went fairly quickly in retrospect, but some days seemed to take a year to get through. So I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Hannah was more than a little anxious to make the trip.
As is typical with my daughter, she arrived in North Carolina making quite the grand entrance. I should’ve seen it coming I guess. The first sign that she was off to a rocky start came before she’d gotten out of the county: she’d forgotten the “welcome home” sign that she’d worked on so diligently. So she’d just have to hope Adam could pick her out in a crowd.
The night of Hannah’s arrival in North Carolina, she somehow managed to fall off the hotel room bed and wedge herself between the bed and the wall. Thankfully Lee and Cheryl were there to pull her out of the predicament. How she got there to begin with is anyone’s guess. And quite frankly, we’re probably better off not knowing the details…
All seemed well on Sunday, though. Until my phone rang about 6:30 p.m.
“Whatcha doing, Mother?”
“Um… nothing… what are you doing?”
“Um, well, I just got out of the emergency room.”
I’m sure you all know that in that moment, my head went wild with possible scenarios. Jelly fish? Sting Rays? Shark bite?!?!?! No. She’d been too calm for that one.
“I passed out,” she offered before I could start rattling off my theories.
They’d just left the beach after a day of fun and sun and made it as far as the outside shower area when Cheryl felt Hannah grab her shoulder. As Cheryl turned around, Hannah hit the wooden boards hard and fast, face down and out cold. Heat exhaustion.
Enter the stretcher, a neck brace and joy ride in the ambulance. I’m tellin’ ya, no one knows how to kick off a vacation quite like my daughter, huh?
“You have a bird feather in your hair,” she told Hannah, who laughed and replied that she’d actually paid someone to put it there. (True story – and just for the record, dear reader and friend Niki says it’s a ring-tail lemur. You be the judge.)
She arrived at the emergency room in her swim suit (as did Cheryl and Lee) leaving enough sand along the trail for a decent castle. Some vital-sign testing, blood drawing and three hours later, she left the ER with orders to drink more water (who knew? right?). A lucky little soul she was that the fall didn’t knock out every tooth in the front of her braces-straightened pearly whites. That would’ve been a real sight for Adam’s homecoming…
Nevertheless, she’d (hopefully) reached No. 3 in the rule of threes. And about 9:15 p.m. Monday night, the moment she, Cheryl and Lee had impatiently waited on for months came, as Marine Lcpl. Adam H. arrived back home on U.S. soil. All was right in the world for my baby girl. Of course, they still have almost a week left in North Carolina, though. Let’s just hope Ms. Entertainment has done enough for one vacation.