We made it. We’re home for Christmas.

To be honest, it wasn’t a sure thing that Dad would survive this flight. I weighed the risks, discussed it with Dad and doctors, prayed about the decision. Ultimately I felt coming home to see his son and his beloved State of Alaska was a better option than playing it safe.

The flight was uncomfortable for both Dad and me, but more or less uneventful. We had a large seatmate so things were squishy. Dad wanted me to turn on the lights, but everyone around us was asleep, so I wouldn’t do it. We were o.k. in the dark, plus it helped Dad doze off. I nearly panicked when midway through the flight Dad wandered to the back of the plane, and ran out of energy getting back to Row 9. (he’d followed me to the restroom). When Dad chokes and coughs (often), it comes out as long moans. He sounds like he’s dying and people cast glances, but they are patient. Many people pass us and whisper, “You’re doing a fine thing.”

I could tell people were praying for us. Even with the difficulties, there were answers. Dad calmed down and slept a little, he did make it back to Row 9, the flight attendants were awesome, our fellow passengers so encouraging.

This morning Dad is disoriented. Dreams and reality blend together until he feels lost and needs constant encouragement. In the photo Dad is wiping away tears after we assured him he would never be alone this season; someone from the family would ALWAYS be with him. He cried. I cried. Then we laughed. We’re home for Christmas.