Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief

More Ups and Downs

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So I’m on my dream vacation and I meet my daughter and her family for brunch in South Carolina. Frankie has been with them on vacation for nine days, the first time we’ve been apart that long. Reports were that he was the hit of the week-long family reunion they were at. He was dancing with 75 year old women when no other men would, so he was well loved and made a big deal of.

Then he hit the brick wall. By the time we met up in South Carolina, he was in tears and beside himself. Said his back hurt and that he hadn’t been able to eat. He did a great job trying to figure it out with me. “How do I know if I’m homesick? What does my stomach have to do with being homesick? Why is this happening?” He decided he wanted to come home. The only thing is, I couldn’t logistically pull it off. For dozens of details, I won’t want to bore you with, I couldn’t keep him in South Carolina with me. He got in the car to head back to Georgia and was a good sport about it, but I cried the minute he drove away. I am his mom. I am supposed to make everything better.

I told him we would get him out on Monday morning and back home, two days earlier than he was supposed to come back. That seemed to help him. However, then the nightmare of phone calls started and I discovered in spite of paying the extra money for trip insurance, they wouldn’t help me in the slightest. It would have cost me another $800 to get him and my grandson back. Another tough phone conversation. I let him down again. And again he was a good sport.

Wednesday, they were scheduled to arrive at 12:45. I worked til noon then hopped in the car. I had this dreaded feeling that I was going to be late. I was frantic. The check-in lady told me the plane hadn’t landed yet when I got there at 12:20. I get my boarding pass and headed to security. When Frankie flew to Georgia, I nailed my son-in-law about making sure he was there on time so when he got off the plane he immediately saw a face he knew. And he was there. On time.

While I’m in security I get a phone call. It’s Southwest. The plane had landed almost a half hour early and the flight attendant was waiting there with the two boys. I told him I was stuck in security and he told me to wait and he would bring the boys to me. A million things flashed through my mind. This 10 and 6 year old were brave enough to fly across the states. I only had to be there on time so they didn’t get off the plane and feel even a second of panic. Now I know the plane landed early, but still. I felt AWFUL. Let Frankie down. AGAIN.

When I saw them come around the corner, we all hugged, although Frankie is still not fond of that. But right there in the middle of the airport, he opens up his suitcase. He bought me a necklace with the word “LOVE” on it and he walked over and chained it around my neck. Right there in the middle of the airport. He couldn’t wait to give it to me. I was filled with love and tears. He’s a champ. He’s forgiving. He lets me be human. He’s the love of my life.

Author: Help for Healing

My name is Darcy Thiel. What people say they appreciate most about me is my genuine nature. I utilize my professional and personal experiences to increase my understanding and compassion to help others. My career has many faces, so let me tell you about a few. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in NY State and am a couple and family therapist. As an Adult Planning Specialist and End of Life Doula, I take my experiences with my parents’ and husband's illnesses and passing to help others navigate the crazy, complicated medical world we live in. This dovetails with the books I have written. Bitter and Sweet: A Family’s Journey with Cancer, the prequel to Life After Death, on This Side of Heaven is an honest and raw perspective on coping with the diagnosis and subsequent loss of Tim, my spouse. I have done extensive speaking on the above topics through live audiences, radio shows, and an occasional TV spot. For more information, see my websites at,, or Copyright Help for Healing by Darcy Thiel © 2012-2019. All rights reserved.

One thought on “More Ups and Downs

  1. Aww! <3!


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