It’s All Relative

   Posted by: Michael Bernier   in Today's Reality

I recently made an unscheduled trip to Georgia (the first trip in several years for any of us) to visit my oldest brother, who was in the hospital after collapsing in his bathroom a couple of nights before and seemed to be doing very poorly. I went alone; my son is in school, and my wife stayed behind with him. It was an interesting trip for many reasons, but most of all it was interesting because of the way my relatives acted toward me while I was there. No, there was nothing bad about it; quite to the contrary, it was the most pleasant and accommodating visit I have had since moving my family to Texas ten years ago.

I felt like royalty – my mother tended to the bedroom and bathroom I used in her house like I was staying in a five-star hotel; my oldest niece took me out to lunch the day I arrived; and both my mother and my sisters-in-law cooked delicious dinners each night I was there, including a big steak dinner the night before I went home. I got to visit with almost all of my family at one point or another, missing only my youngest brother’s wife and his oldest daughter. Each and every one of them seemed overjoyed that I had come to visit, and one niece in particular kept pushing the question, “When are you going to move back to Georgia?”

When I finally left to begin the 14-hour drive back to Texas, I had many things to think about. The most pervasive thought was over whether to start visiting Georgia more often. Moving there permanently is out of the question; with our son Stephen buried here in Texas, my wife and I have decided that when our time comes we will be buried next to him. But, there is nothing to say we cannot visit relatives more often. The first opportunity for us to do that would likely be at Thanksgiving; school is out for that entire week, and getting time off from work should not be an issue either. My mother has already offered her spare bedrooms for us to use; all we have to do is get there.

Therein lies the issue. How should we travel – by air or by road? Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Flying is much faster, but is more expensive than driving…and we would still need some form of ground transportation after we arrive in Georgia, which means renting a car. Driving is less expensive and gives us a means of transportation when we arrive, but the trip is quite long (as I mentioned earlier, it is about 14 hours each way). My wife prefers flying, but when we look at our budget it quickly becomes clear that driving is the more affordable choice.

And with that, the discussions continue. What will we finally decide? When I find out, I will be sure to let you all know!

(Postscript: My brother had a very large bleeding ulcer in his intestine that was causing him to pass a lot of blood, lowering his blood count and making him weak. He is now out of the hospital and resting at home.)

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This entry was posted on Saturday, October 16th, 2010 at 11:21 pm and is filed under Today's Reality. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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