Last night (as in Thursday night), I sat on our bed sobbing. I was a mess because my family was a mess back in Va. My little brother had to have an emergency appendectomy and my poor mom was a nervous wreck. There were some logistical issues going on and after the surgery, we found out that his appendix ruptured and that he’d have to stay in the hospital for a week- uninsured.

No one flat out said, “Come home, we need you,” but the insecurities and uncertainty I heard in my mom’s voice made up my mind.

Like the amazing husband he is, Jeff rearranged his schedule on Friday to drive home to Virginia with me. We packed up the car and were headed down the NJ Turnpike by 2pm– in the middle of a damn sleet storm. We trudged down the road at 35 miles an hour the whole way down the Turnpike. In the meantime, my mom, my brother, my dad and my other brother managed to call at innocuous intervals. Oh, and to let me know that mom and dad’s stove caught fire. (It never ends with my family!) We kept driving through the whipping conditions, stopping every other hour to pee and to take a breather from the awful traffic.

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This was the worst drive we’ve ever experienced coming down from NJ to Va. 10 hours for a 356-mile trip! The conditions were pretty rough, but we were extra careful, rather Jeff was extra careful. We counted 17 cars in ditches in NJ and this was before the evening commute! Jeff really should win the husband of the month award for his dutiful driving today. He moaned here and there, but he knew how important being with my family meant regardless of the snow, sleet or rain.

Jeff’, my valiant driver, is finally snoring in bed, I kissed my parents goodnight since they waited for us to get here and tomorrow we’ll go see my crazy kid brother who’s recovering from a ruptured appendix. I have these strong feelings of warmth and gratitude tonight, knowing that we’re all alive and well.

Aside from the nightmarish conditions we endured today, I’m thankful I’m safe at home with my family.

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