This weekend I’m flying out west to visit Tanner and family, and to say that my anticipation is bittersweet is understatement in the extreme. I am, of course, thrilled to be seeing them, and to be seeing him, and, because I am making this trip to get things started on Tanner’s Biggest Wish Project, there’s an extra note of sweetness to the journey. This trip is about good things, happy things, and I know that there’ll be many smiles and high-fives and exclamations of joy.
But Tanner is still dying, and as the days go by his decline accelerates, and things get more difficult for my sister, and although I am always aware of this – I think of it daily, hourly – I know from experience that when I step off the plane and see them – run to them, hug them – it will hit me full force and it will take every ounce of strength in my heart and soul to not burst into tears. But I will find that strength, and I will hold that strength, and I will give what I can of it to my sister, and I will make my two days there two days of joy and smiles and hope, so much hope, and I will save my tears.
And then I will cry on the flight home.