About my flight & the beginning of my trip…

Now that I have time to write I thought I’d write about my flight from Korea to Seattle.

The flight was full. I felt like a itty bitty sardine stuffed into an already full sardine can. Once I found my seat, I found a cute little Asian boy sitting in it. His seat was supposed to be next to mine, in the middle, but he wanted the window seat. I explained to his father that if he wanted I would switch with him for the aisle seat. He stated he’d rather keep his seat and I was fine with that… I just figured the boy would enjoy looking out the window like most kids do. I squeezed into my assigned seat and tried getting my bag under the seat in front of me. As I was getting as comfortable as possible, the Asian man was talking with an American red-headed woman and a flight attendant about her seating arrangements. The woman had requested an aisle seat since she is claustrophobic and she’d forgotten her medication. The man kept asking the flight attendant to ask someone with an aisle seat to switch with the woman since he didn’t want to be separated from his son. The flight attendant didn’t speak very good English and the man didn’t speak Korean so not much help was being given so the man and woman were getting very frustrated. I didn’t think she’d want to switch with me so I sat idly by while they sorted things out. The woman then turned to me as I was just settling into my seat and asked, “Ma’am, would you mind switching seats with me?”. She wanted to switch seats with me so the gentleman she was talking with would then switch with her. I didn’t mind at all. If it made her feel more comfortable, why not? After all the switching of seats I ended up in the middle of the middle, she ended up in the aisle seat, the little Asian boy ended up in the window seat and his father next to him. It all worked out.

About a minute passed and the woman who needed the aisle seat stood up while everyone else was still finding their seats and asked me, “What’s your name?” I answered and then she said, “Do you live in the Seattle area?” I answered, “I used to but now my home is in Guam, I’m just visiting.” She then said “Thanks so much for switching with me. Do you like donuts?” I said, “Sure, who doesn’t?”. Of course anyone that knows me knows that I love sweets. She then gave me a white bag that had two large donuts in it. I said thank you and we sat down.

A few minutes passed and one of the flight attendants came to me and gave me a little silver bag as a thank you for switching seats. Inside was facial toner, lip balm, hand lotion, earplugs, an eye mask for sleeping, a toothbrush, and toothpaste. A few minutes more past and another attendant came and gave everyone a different bag with little folded up slippers in it, a toothbrush & toothpaste, and another eye mask for sleeping. I had made out pretty well.

The donuts weren’t that good. They were glazed, which I usually love, but the glaze had some kind of citrus zest in it so they tasted a little funny.

The flight was bumpy and long. It was supposed to be 9 hours and 40 minutes but it ended up being 8 hours and 15 minutes. The food wasn’t very good but when is airplane food ever good. I tried to sleep but sleeping on planes has always been difficult for me. I was able to get some sleep while listening to some low music on my iPod.

My flight landed at 10:15 Monday morning, Seattle time. Going through immigration was relatively quick. I was relatively close to the front of the plane so there weren’t many people ahead of me in line. Baggage was another story. Everyone was huddled around the carousel and several of them spoke in different tongues. It took about an hour before I finally got my bag. I got through customs quickly and then it was off to the main terminal via subway. I got to the main terminal, found a pay phone to call my dad. I told him I’d be on my way to the hospital shortly after calling Matt to let him know I landed safely. I took caught a cab and it cost a whopping $49.50. That was painful but my dad insisted he’d fit the bill. Thanks Pa!!!

I got to the hospital around 1 PM. The hospital was huge. I found the information desk and asked where I could find my Grandmother. They gave me the floor and pointed me in the direction toward the elevators. I found the nurses station and asked where I could find Frances Starrett and they said, “Who?” I stated her name again and they said, “I think you have the wrong floor.” I let them know her situation and they told me where they thought I could find her. I had to go back down three floors and then across to the other side of the hospital. Apparently my Grandma had been moved since I had talked with the lady at the information desk when I had arrived. I found my way to another set of elevators and went up to the 5th floor and found another nurses station. I asked where I could find Frances Starrett and they pointed to a hall way and said “She’s the 5th room on the right.” I walked down the hall and found my dad and two uncles, Ken and Allen, forming a half circle around my Grandma’s bed. I looked at her first straight in the eye and she said with the biggest smile, “There she is.” I was so happy to see her.

My dad was disappointed that I didn’t call and ask for his help to find her. He wanted to be able to “rescue” me. I told him I was able to make my way just fine. Grandma was trying control her emotions while also trying to explain what was going on and what her options were. The doctors told her to try to keep her emotions under control so that she wouldn’t cause anymore stress and damage to her heart. To help her do this one of her nurses told her to slowly count 1…… 2…… 3…… While she did this she would giggle a little between each number. My dad asked her if she’d rather he explain everything to me so she wouldn’t get stressed about my reaction to what she had to say. She thought that would be best so he asked me to grab my coat so he could go outside and have a smoke while he explained everything to me. I asked him if he could wait for his cigarette until after he explained the situation. I didn’t want to be around him while he subjected himself to a death-stick and me to the second-hand smoke. He knows much I want him to quit so he agreed. We went out into the lobby area outside of ICU and sat down. He explained her condition and the three options she had as far as treatment. I tried to hold all of my emotions in as long as I could but couldn’t hold them in for long. I was happy that she didn’t see me fall apart. My uncles came in and joined our conversation after getting coffee and we talked for a little while before going back in to visit with Grandma.

It was so nice talking with her. She was upbeat and enjoying every minute of our visit. I was at the hospital for several hours. My dad and uncles ended up leaving around 4:00 PM and I tried to find a spot with Internet to check my email while Grandma rested for a while. I tried to do the same and was able to get a couple of hours of rest. It wasn’t that comfortable though. My sister got to the hospital after school which ended up being about 9 PM. We watched some of the Bachelor with Grandma and then left to go to her house. We stopped for some food and then headed home.

We didn’t end up getting to sleep until after midnight but it was nice catching up with her too. I woke up at 1:30 PM today, which to my body was 7:30 AM Guam time. I felt like such a bum for sleeping so late but my body needed the rest and I feel much better. I borrowed a car from Gail & Mike, the people my sister lives with, so I was able to visit my Grandma again today and stay as long as I wanted and not have to worry about taking a cab. I had a short visit with her and then headed back to Mike & Gail’s house. It’s now 11:55 PM and I’m wide awake… I guess I’ll read some of my book and try to force myself to go to sleep so I can try to wake up at a decent hour tomorrow morning.

I guess this post is long enough… ha ha ha. Until next time…

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