How I Lost My Mother in London's Heathrow - Part of a Series

on Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We are back from our holiday in Italy!!!! It was a fabulous trip! We laughed! We cried! We hugged! We walked! We were in awe! We took photos! We climbed! We drove (and drove and drove) We spent all of our time with the family of our hearts! We figured out that we all have the same smile! We realized that we all have the same heart! We basked in the glory of Italy...AND....We ATE!!!! (and ate and ate and ate).

I wanted to post from the road. (insert maniacal laughter here) Since I couldn't find a way to tear myself from the joys of the moment...some posts will be from my road diary...some will be from my memory and some will be just totally made up from photo reminders.

A great big Thank you! to all of you who sent along Christmas and Vacation good wishes! We missed all of you and your blogs and are looking forward to reading everything you've been up to in our absence!

OK....here's what I remember (Day 1)!

December 17, 2008
LAX - Heathrow, London
London - Rome

We are here! 22 hours door to door and everyone is present, accounted for and happy! The kids are smiling and still carrying their individual backpacks! We are all still talking to each other!

Success!!!

The kids were phenomenal on the plane. They took to their seats and proceeded to become familiar with their environment. All buttons were checked and cross checked. Press button 1 - light comes on. Press button number 2 - light goes off. On/off. On/off. On/off. Everything seems to be in working order. Press button number 3 - smiling air person runs to my attention....they ask me if I would like something. Then they ask me to push button 4. They run away. Button 3 - people react. Button 4 - they go away! Hmmm... Little Man immediately made note that we should have these buttons installed in his bedroom. Little Man and Little Girl both made it a point of checking and cross checking the control panel throughout the flight.

We flew British Air. I've flown British Air without kids and enjoyed the experience greatly. With kids....OMG....I LOVE THEM! The personal TV with a variety of movies and shows was wonderful....add in the plethora of items the flight attendants brought the kids for drawing, coloring and reading...I could have packed at least a third lighter!

Upon arriving in London, the flight attendants approached us about wheel chair assistance for my Mom. The wheelchair was waiting for her, but since we were being disembarked on the tarmac, they would be escorting the people who needed assistance first. Since there were so many who needed wheelchair assistance, they asked if we, her family, could please meet her at the gate where the little bus would be dropping us off. OK....no problem.....UNLESS you have a history of losing your mother! So, off she goes...my little Mom...before I lost sight of her....I questioned the flight attendant again about our reunion point. She assured me that Mom would be waiting for us at the gate where the bus will drop us off.

I believed her. We exchanged smiles. Things were going great!

Mom wasn't there.

There we were at the gate...with 8 carry on bags, 2 kids, one who needed a bathroom and one who needed a diaper change. My bladder was crying for help...and... No Sicilian Mama. We asked, we looked around, we made our way down the endless corridor...no little Sicilian Mama. The kids started asking. "Where's my Nonna?" I started asking. "Where's my Mom?"

OK...we weren't in a hurry to catch our flight. We had a 4 hour layover. HOWEVER, Heathrow Airport is HUGE and even though they speak English there, it seemed that there was a language barrier every time we asked someone where they might have taken someone who was escorted off of the plane via wheelchair assistance. To add to the drama (and at the time it felt like drama) I was holding Mom's plane ticket and passport. So....here we are....in an endless hallway, holding more bags than we should have been allowed to carry on the plane, with a 4 year old and a 2 year old not knowing were to go....but walking QUICKLY. I guess it seemed if we walked fast enough...we'd find her quicker. We reached a set of chairs and the kids made a decision for us. They climbed up on the chairs and sad down...both proclaiming that they needed a rest. My good Guy decided to go back and find her. It was like a scene from Last of the Mohican's. "I will find her!" he proclaimed before running down the hall. Ten minutes later, My Guy came running back. He'd found her! But they wouldn't release her to him without her passport and airplane ticket. All tolled...she was gone for 45 minutes. We had a beautiful reunion and all had a victory pee at the nearest bathroom. We also had 3 hours to review and laugh about the experience!

It was a great 1st day!

3 comments:

Noah's Mommy said...

Wow...and that was the first leg I take it....what a way to start off your journey....You handled it really well....Can't wait to read the next stories

fruity mama said...

Loved the part of the victory pee!!! Can't begin to count how many of those I have had. Glad you were reunited. Look forward to reading more.

Check out my blog at
http://fruitymama.blogspot.com

Your new blog friend;
Gina

jori-o said...

Holy moly! I am exhausted just reading that! What craziness...but all's well that ends well, right?