Just getting there was a huge undertaking. We even considered cancelling our trip. Over the weekend, our daughter Arabella got arrested. I was working a trade show the whole weekend. I found out my daughter called 911 ten minutes before the trade show began. I didn’t really know what was happening and she wouldn’t answer her phone. I had to do a whole lot of acting, put on a happy face. I didn’t have time to process my feelings.
Meanwhile, my husband was on an ice fishing trip up north. He took my mom with him to visit my brother Mark who lives up there. Even my best friend was heading up north to spend the weekend with her grandchildren. I didn’t really want to bother anyone until they were on the way home. Paul told my mom on the way home and my best friend’s husband told her. My husband returned home Sunday evening just after I returned home from the trade show. Our daughter was still in jail and we really didn’t know what to do. Should we bail her out? Our flight was scheduled for Thursday morning and we were heading out Wednesday afternoon to drive down to Chicago.
Monday morning Paul and I had an appointment with our couples counselor. We spent most of the appointment trying to figure out where to go and what to do next as far as our daughter is concerned. Afterwards, we had plans to go to Angel’s house for lunch. By the time we got there, Arabella called to say they released her from jail and she needed a ride home. Angel came with to pick her up. At that time, Angel’s husband was out of state for a couple weeks for work. She said she would take Arabella in and also her cat. Angel was going to be the go to person when we were gone. But she changed her mind about having her sister over shortly after we picked up Arabella because Arabella snapped at her and was treating her poorly.
Paul took Arabella into her apartment while I stayed in the car with Angel who was having a panic attack. We dropped Angel off at her house because she needed to get back to work and came back to talk to Arabella and Will. We talked to them both separately and together and figured out what all happened. Will was crying and felt great shame for his actions. Arabella was playing the victim. She wasn’t upset with Will as much as she was upset with the police. They bruised her arms while they restrained her. She says she has PTSD from the way they treated her. She is hellbent on suing the police and county jail. They did not give her her medication and she needed to contact her doctor before taking everything again. We talked about a safety plan going forward.
Tuesday morning it was on to the next problem. A major winter storm was heading our way. The airlines emailed me saying I could change our flight for no extra fee. I wanted to get out of here as soon as I could to avoid the storm which was starting Tuesday evening. It took several hours to change our plans. I had to call the resort to change our flights. It took a long time. Then I had to contact the hotel we were staying at in Chicago to see if we could move up our non-refundable room. The new plan was to fly out Wednesday evening and spend the night in Miami. After I made the new arrangements, I scrambled to pack and get everything done to leave a day early. It was very rushed and stressful.
It was iffy if we were even going to be able to get out on Wednesday. The whole state of Wisconsin was going to be a mess. We were expecting the biggest snowstorm in 4 years while Milwaukee was expecting the biggest ice storm in 50 years. Chicago was expecting a lot of rain and was very close to the border of an ice storm with temps slightly above freezing.
Our hotel room in Chicago was very nice. I was glad they did not give me a hard time for switching nights last minute. We headed to the airport and checked into our flight 3 hours early. We weren’t sure if we had to check in for our international flight because we were going to spend the night in Miami. At first the customer service rep said we couldn’t get our luggage in Miami and it would have to go to our final destination. So we opened up our luggage right there and pulled out whatever we would need for our night in Miami mindful of the ounces of toiletries. Then she said it was okay and we put it all back in again. Then the lady said we couldn’t check in until we filled out some extra forms to go to Curacao. The website wasn’t working and we didn’t know what to do. By that time our CSR was working with someone else so we asked another rep who was rude and told us to keep trying. Our CSR was able to give us another website that was working. We requested to sit by each other and the lady said the airlines always tries to have travel partners sit together.
We flew out on Ash Wednesday. It felt strange to see people at the airport with ashes on their foreheads. Everything seemed surreal. People were coming in from Milwaukee saying their flight was cancelled. It seemed like all flights out of Wisconsin, Minneapolis, and Detroit were cancelled due to the storm. There was a lady with a baby crying to the rude CSR saying she had to fly out right away because her mother was on her death bed. They turned her away. The line for security was incredibly long. It probably took us an hour and a half just to check in and go through security.
Paul and I were not seated next to each other on any flight despite what the CSR said. I was panicking from everything that happened leading up to the flight. I was anxiously watching the weather. There were strong severe storms almost all the way down to where we were going. I am terrified to fly as it is, but am utterly terrified of travelling through storms. Our flight ended up being delayed because crew was late coming to our flight from other flights.
I was hoping to find someone who was willing to change seats with Paul so we could sit by each other. I felt hopeful when I saw a crew member sitting in an aisle seat next to me. If anyone would be compassionate of a fear of flying, it would be a crew member. I already took a Xanax but I was still quite nervous. The crew member refused to trade seats with Paul because he didn’t want to be uncomfortable in a middle seat. He said since he knows everything about flying he could answer any questions I might have. At this point, I was really freaking out. I was so afraid my whole body started to shake. As the flight started, I was also in flight or fight mode. Then I had a panic attack. It seemed like in that moment I had started to process everything that happened over the past couple days. Then I started crying. It was awful and humiliating. I reached for my bottle of Xanax and popped another pill. In the process the cap of my water bottle went flying off somewhere and I just said screw it.
The lady next to me on the flight was really nice. She was stressed out as well because she had 20 minutes to make it to her next flight. She asked the crew member next to me if he would let her out to get her carry on. But he was being a real dick about it and would not move out of the way for her.
By the time we got to the hotel in Miami, it was close to midnight. We had to take the 7 AM shuttle back to the airport. This time we stayed at a run down roach hotel. But it had a free breakfast and shuttle to the airport. The flight to Curacao was uneventful. Paul was able to trade seats with someone. The only thing that was annoying were some kids who were running around whipping a water bottle and hitting people in the head while the parent did nothing. I thought of the parent the night before who was singing math songs with her kids who were the same age. It’s hard to be upset by the kids for the negligence of the parent. But what do I know, my own daughter just got out of jail.
It took a lot but we arrived in paradise. I was dismayed to find out I still received calls and texts with just wifi without a sim card. I did text Angel but no one else. Arabella texted that she wanted to move back home. My mom texted worried about who was going to plow out our driveway. Hello, my son and some of his friends do snow removal. It was the one thing I really wasn’t all that worried about. I was upset because my mom never bothered to talk to me about what was happening with Arabella. I knew everything was in good hands at home with Alex and Lexi taking care of snow removal and the cat. My daughter Angel can be relied on for anything even though it would be hard with her husband out of town. My best friend Cindy offered to help in any way she was needed and I appreciated the few supportive people I have in my life. My hope was that no one died. I was sure my problems would be waiting for me at home.
But as for now, I was in paradise and I was going to try to enjoy it.