Just a quick update. After 17 hours and three planes, Nicole is finally in Brisbane. I briefly was able to hear her voice as she Skyped from the airport to let me know they all found each other.
I have lost count of how many times I have heard her coming down the hallway. Of how many times just today I have gone to her room to tell her something. Of how many comments I started to make and then realized no one would "get" but her.
Don't let anyone ever tell you that parenting doesn't mean sacrifice. Since the day I held my first child 28+ years ago, I have willingly, cheerfully, lovingly put aside thinking of me first to think of someone else first. I imagine I will keep doing so as long as these four people walk the earth--or as long as I do, at least. Is there a bigger gift to give each other than loving them enough to do what it takes to help them be happy? (Good gawd, Tami, you used to be a writer, but that sentence may destroy your entire reputation.)
I am off to take 15 minutes on the couch to rest this ridiculously swollen throat. But as I close my eyes, my heart is lighter because as much as I miss her, I am even more excited for her and what awaits her. She may be THERE, but she is also RIGHT here.