Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Quest Begins

(written June 1, 2008)

It's a beautiful day. Our travel from Bremen to O'Hare was fairly uneventful with the exception of one wrong/missed turn. Never fear, we found out way. Zip! We drop the car off at Avistar for long-term parking. Zip! We arrive at the Lufthansa area. Zip! We find our place in line. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. We stand in line for our boarding passes. There's a glitch with their computers. We don't care, we are just happy to be there.

For those of you who don't know, this trip is being funded by a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Grant (http://www.lillyendowment.org/ed_tc.html). This is a grant that is available to educators in Indiana. I wrote a proposal which was accepted, so here we are. The grant was written specifically so that I could take my father back to Germany to retrace some of his steps in Germany while in the army in WWII and 1952-54. We are also attempting to solve a mystery. Unfortunately, my father's ill health has prevented him from making this trip, but my mind is on him constantly. I got word via email today that a tumor in his neck has doubled in size in a short period of time. The cancer is becoming more aggressive. If you would keep him in your prayers, I would gratefully appreciate it.

As I sat on the plane waiting for take-off, unexpected tears poured down my face. I'm thinking of my father who should be making this trip with us. He's not, but he is in spirit. I know how his heart wants to go, but his body will not cooperate. It's bittersweet, really. So much about this trip will be different without him beside us. I was so looking forward to standing beside him as he pointed to this and that and told his stories from so long ago. I am grateful I was able to visit in April and recorded some of those stories.

We're off on great adventures!