We went on vacation … and YES, it was a SPECIAL vacation! Shelli has alluded to how it was filled with both tears and smiles. I’ll tell you the full story here.
There’s a lot going on, so please be patient with me.
Let’s start with us on the road to the home of Shelli’s parents at midnight. We get a call from her mother informing us that the there was a storm brewing around her and that they were saying that it was going to pretty bad. She says the rain is crazy, the winds are wild and that the sky is bright with lightning. Now mind you, our drive is pretty peaceful. Then, as we grew closer to our destination, we start to see random debris strewn on the highway’s shoulder. As we approach the exit a little closer to her parents’ house, things change a bit. It seems that things are more serious than her mother hinted.
The roads were a mess! The streets to her mother’s house are not passable. The random debris has turned into immoveable branches, downed power lines and massive country trees that I’m sure held more history in one branch than I hold in my entire body.
After about a 15 minute detour, we arrived at the house. As we park in front, it kicks in. The 60+ foot black walnut tree that towered in the front yard is laying almost horizontal across the yard. The only reason that is has a lean and isn’t laying flat across the driveway is because of her mother’s car and her father’s truck beneath it! Yeah, CRAZY!
But then there is the back yard too …
Usually this is an open space for Penelope, the 3 year old, hyperactive, 70 lb, pink-nosed pit bull, that thinks she’s still a 10 lb puppy, to frolic and be the bull in the china shop.
But now, it’s unrecognizable. There are so many branches from fallen limbs of the neighbors’ trees that there is only a small patch of grass that is visible in the nice southern yard. And, these aren’t the kind of branches that can be moved by hand. I’m talking about the kind that take a chainsaw to clear them!
Then, it gets worse …
I learn that Mrs. Gillis has just returned from her vacation getaway in Playa del Carmen earlier that day. I’m thinking, “This sucks.” And in my mind I’m like … “This sucks for Mrs. Gillis, but Mr. Gillis is gonna love this! In addition to being able to sell some firewood, he and Mrs. Gillis might get new rides out of all this!”
Then things gets even worse … Mr. Gillis isn’t around …
I find out that, when Mrs. Gillis got off the flight, she was informed that Mr. Gillis had been rushed to the local hospital via ambulance that day after passing out in front of the house. It seems that, amongst other things, he became dehydrated and collapsed just as he and one of his friends were preparing to head to tend to the animals at the farm. He’s fine now.
But Shelli’s mother hasn’t been to sleep. She had been at the hospital all day with him. But, she’s cool as a cucumber. Ok … actually she’s kind of a spark plug, but that’s normal for her. In my mind, it looks like the only thing on her mind is getting us to the airport.
So, being the TROOPER she is, Shelli’s mother left her car in the driveway (well it couldn’t go anywhere) and Shelli drove us around all of the fallen debris and got us to the airport for our 6:30 am flight out of Atlantic City … early!
And then, it gets even worse …
Here … I approach the ticket counter with boarding pass and passport in hand. Here … the ticket clerk notices that my passport was washed … a few times. Here … the ticket clerk tells me that there are two countries that they deny passports that are even slightly damaged … and that we’re trying to go to one. Here, my passport is denied. Shelli starts to cry. Here, my heart breaks. Shelli, her sister and the rest of those going on vacations make their way down the hall to the security check. They are out of my view. Here … my heart breaks again.
I’m sad that Shelli has left me and I’m not sure if I’ll be seeing her for a week. I’m mad that I was told 3 weeks prior that my passport would be fine. I’m disappointed in myself that I wasn’t 110% on top of my game and let this happen. I jump in the car with Shelli’s mother and devise a plan to go to Philadelphia on Monday morning to get a new passport.
Then, I’m reminded that Shelli’s mother just got home from vacation, hasn’t slept, her husband is in the hospital and her car is crushed under a tree. The ride back to her house reminded me that life isn’t always about our plan or our ideas of good and bad. I realized that it just wasn’t meant for me to be in that plane. I was supposed to be where I was. Assisting Shelli’s mom with her hardships made my issues so mundane and unworthy of any complaints about not going on vacation. There are other things that are much more important.
I’m not gonna stretch this out into a blog that’s all preachy about thanking God for the blessings we’ve been given. Instead, I’m just gonna leave you with an abbreviated end of the story …
In the end … a natural disaster and uncomfortable time away from Shelli turned into the great gift of quality one-on-one time with Shelli’s mother, father and cousin. Loss of electricity segues into quiet recovery and introspective time. (Oh yeah, the electricity was out at Shelli’s parents house the entire time I was there!). Hard conversations are turned into grand ideas and, hopefully, plans for a better future. A mad dash to Philly to get a passport turns into a viewing of Moonrise Kingdom (if you like youthful, quirky artsy kinda films, go see this INCREDIBLE film).
And then, on Wednesday morning, I was on a flight! While in the air, I had more time to think about what really happened. And simply put … God placed me where I needed to be … when I needed to be there. I was reminded that everything happens for a reason and that each day, moment and person that you encounter is a special blessing. When I landed, I was extra happy to see Shelli.
I wanted to do something to make this vacation extra special for her. I couldn’t think of anything worthy of her greatness … so …
After the closest thing we’ve had to an argument in 3 years (about me not knowing if I should have had flip-flops … I had water shoes!?!) … I decided that my gift would be … I’d just follow her lead. Well, as much as I could. I mean, how much could go wrong? We only had a few days to share on vacation.
Well … let’s just say a few things did go wrong! Yes … great pictures like this did have a cost! Let’s just say that I should have taken the camera out of my pocket before we rolled around in the sea smiling at the camera!
The camera recovered and the pictures were fine … See …
What? Did you really think that we were gonna run away and get married or something? Sorry …
What made this special? We lived through the cliché, “When life gives you lemons … you make lemonade!”
Not only did we live through it … we smiled through it. This sets the tone to how we’re gonna live our life together.
Think positively and optimistically (know that God has a plan!).
Share good communication with each other.
Don’t complain … be pro-active in your planning to change the things that you don’t like.
Do what you can do, but know that God has a plan that may or may not link with your own plan!
Know that God has a plan!
Ok … so it did get kinda drawn out and preachy, but hey … sometimes what God wants us to do isn’t gonna fit within our guidelines/expectations/plan/logic. Sometimes we have to trust that everything happens for a reason.
PS … the electricity JUST went out in the house and there will be no complaints from me!
Like I said … everything happens for a reason.
As I reach for a tissue and wipe away tears ,I’m glad I read this and it hit home and no you were not preachy just heartfelt honest . Thanks for writing this beautiful article.
SHINE ~ SHINE ~ SHINE! What a great story and a happy ending!
Welp you have managed to make me cry smh! You guys are awesome #sniffsniff
Wow!! This really touched my heart and refocused my focus! Thanks soo much for sharing!!
OMG I so love you guys!
*Sniffling. What an awesome article. I really and truly hope you two have a long and happy life together. Black love is a beautiful thing, I tell you! Absolutely beautiful!
You have managed to out do my very favorite post “Heat Wave” with this one! Thanks for putting things in perspective. Shelli, thanks for ceating a forum to allow your life partner to share such a beautiful testimanoy. I really thought you two snuck off and got married 🙂
LOL! A lot of people did PD! I kept telling them no … not this time;). LOL!
Just beautiful!!! Who would ever think all of this happened behind those radiant smiles?
Well said Wei!!! When things get rough, you have to look at it and say “yes, this is happening for a reason.” This is something I truly have to learn. Thanks for sharing.
So yeah umm after all that what did I get from this? What camera was it that you had because clearly it’s worthy of buying after surviving water! LOL see I’m the special one.
You’re a mess Michelle!! It’s a Canon Elph PowerShot;).
🙂 Thanks it’s going on my wish list!
I am crying too. This was absolutely beautiful and I needed these words of inspiration this morning. Weusi thanks for reminding us that God has a plan for us and things happen for a reason. You two are so made for each other. I pray for Mr. Gillis speedy recovery. Thank you for sharing. I definitely thought you guys got married. BTW…This was not preachy. 🙂
Man……………what can I say?!?! Shelli I’ve been a certified “lurker” (you’ve got a GREAT blog BTW) but today’s post has me coming out of hiding!!! So special and simply put, I just say this………..I LOVE you guy’s love!!!!!! And yes everything does happen for a reason. Now back to lurkin’, just kiddin’ LOL!!
LOL!!! I love it when a lurker loves a post so much that they “unlurk;).” LOL!! Thank you so much. All the words of support and love from you ladies is so heartwarming. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement!
Love is a splendid thing….
Awww. Now I feel bad for complaining about my BF not being able to go to lunch with me. Thanks for putting things in prospective!!
thank you for all the comments and the votes of support. and yes … we were made for each other … tell em shelli …
Ok;). Thanks everyone!! It makes my day to read all of these kind and supportive comments!! Wei truly is a gift to me. I was devastated when they wouldn’t let him on the plane (mind you, the ladies tried so hard to help us figure out if the Philly passport agency was open on Saturday and the attendant helping us wanted so badly to put him on the Monday flight). But, the next day, he e-mailed me a wonderful message and I realized that this was an unprecedented opportunity for him to spend one on one time with my mom and dad. I knew that they would end up understanding more why I love him so much. His message made me realize that things were going to be okay. But it wasn’t until we got back and I was talking on the phone with my mom that I really appreciated God’s plan. I realized as I spoke with her that she needed him far more than I did for those four days. It really was humbling.
Wei said it was okay for me to share a little of his message to me that Sunday:
“Hey baby …
I’m writing from my phone … as it charges in your car!
There’s no electricity in the house now. ,,,
I’ve had quality time and great conversation w/ both your mother and father. … We had some good man to man talk and I’m sure we’ll have more.
Your mother and I really kicked it! We had some real heart to heart time. … I feel it has layed the ground work for open and honest communication over the years to come.
This has been a reminder that GOD is at work in our relationship and that as we keep GOD in our heart and actions we’ll be better than ok! Our relationship is unquestionably sanctiined by GOD, the angels & a community of friends, peers & family that is special.
I love you and although it pains me to think that we’re not both enjoying this time in mexico together… you know me. I see things in a positive light and try to make the best lemonade ever from the lemons that life chooses to toss us!
Enjoy your vacation … I’ll see you soon!
I love you!!!”
Yeah … can’t tell you how much I needed to read that when it happened. I knew everything would be alright … better than alright. I exhaled;).
sniff* now that i know what camera Wei had I can be a little less selfish lol. God definitely has a plan for every life. It’s our job to find out what it is. And in many cases, it’s not what we think it is!
In spite of the challenges, you two had a great time 🙂 I’ll bet the “Honey I missed you sex” was off the hook. OK sorry y’all yeah I am a mess
BWAAHHHH!!! I am literally bawling over here and I am at work, no less. People are going to think I am crazy! You two are such a gift to each other and because you have opened your lives to us, a gift to us as well. Thank you!
that was seriously the best thing i’ve read all day…reaffirms what real love is all about…keep shining 🙂
Amazing. I’m glad that everything ended up exactly how it needed to be. Thank you Wei for your words.
I’m an idiot… I mixed up the boxes… Shelli could you please delete my comment!!!! thank you.
Stephanie, I don’t know what I’m supposed to be deleting??
It’s times like this th@ make me proud to know th@ ur a COSBY!!!!! J E L L O Pudding @ its finest hour!!!!
LOL!!!! OMGosh, that is so funny Ray:)! Thank you:).
Okay … I read your full name and Wei was sitting here and I was like, “Do you know who this is??” He started laughing hysterically. Little Bill, eh? *lol*
Wow Weusi, I just briefly saw you earlier today and now understand why your shine was so bright. Thank you for sharing this story! Continue to impact others in the way your story has impacted me. I look forward to catching up soon…Lamar
thanks for the comments and the votes …
shout out to carla and any others that are commenting for the first time or just starting to become active parts of the HAIRSCAPADES community. WELCOME!
AND … i gotta shout out my dudes big ray & lamar for commenting and showing support.
for your support/prayers/positive energy toward our relationship & my guest segment here …
THANK YOU ALL.
This is an amazing story!
y’all are really going to need to start giving me photo credits. mwah!
Great story, better life and what is this relationship between you, your valuables and total immersion in water? You’re awesome!
Pingback: The Best of Hairscapades 2012 « hairscapades
Reblogged this on hairscapades and commented:
this was from 2012 … little over 3 years ago
A touching, heart warming story. I love the ending.