My wife visited her home in the Philippines as a consequence of her father passing away there at the beginning of the month. It has been a mixed bag of treats and tragedies. Yes, there was a funeral involved. But it has been years since the six sisters and one brother have been together. They were able to re-connect with friends and family, eat their favorite foods from the old days, and gain weight.
But things always happen to complicate simple happiness-es. Somehow, before she left she managed to put her green card in the wrong pile while sorting stuff to go and stuff to stay. As a resident alien for more than twenty years, she absolutely had to have that green card to get back into the country. So, my daughter and I tore the house apart for three days trying to find it. Then, after throwing my hands up in despair of ever finding it, I managed to sit on a pile of stuff near her bed in the bedroom and realize with my very intelligent behind that I hadn’t searched that pile yet. There it was! I rushed it to UPS with the carefully copied address triple-checked against the text my wife sent me with the warning that it should be written exactly as it appeared in the text. But, naturally, the clerk at the UPS Store was confused by the idea that the zip code had to come before the name of the province. I should’ve asked to see how he wrote it down. The green card finally arrived there two weeks late because the Filipino UPS couldn’t find Tatang’s house. They called the US twice asking for other ways to contact the household. Of course, on our side, we had the advantage of there being no convenient phone in the neighborhood. I finally had to send my wife the tracking number, and she tracked down the package herself.
Of course, we were not home free on the whole return trip thing either. During her journey home, my wife encountered a flight delay in Shanghai that made her miss a connecting flight in Los Angeles. It was a gift of an extra day of travel courtesy of terrorists in Turkey. So, it was a huge relief when yesterday, we were finally able to pick her up from the airport. Of course, now her luggage is missing. Virgin Air had to comb through their entire inventory of lost bags and still didn’t find it. So, there’s a continuing battle we didn’t particularly need either.
Still, in spite of the fact that so many things went wrong, and it was all about a loss of a treasured family member, the adventure has ended, and she is back home again, safe and well.