For most of Shannon and Erin's lives I have traveled for work. Usually, a couple nights out most weeks. The girls grew accustom to Dad's trips - Jen also settled into a routine with me on the road. Our household would invariably benefit as Mom always found it easier to complete "work at home" projects and activities with me gone. There was a certain balance to that routine that has been missing since Shannon's diagnosis April 15.
Business travel can be brutal - some weeks you wonder what the heck you are doing. If you are a customer-facing representative of some company your office is often times a Hampton Inn in Duluth or a Courtyard by Marriott in Normal IL. But if this is what you do and you are good at it and you enjoy making deals and growing business you endure the travel because that's what earns you the medium-sized bucks.
However, the best part of going on business trips is coming home. The kids are excited to see you. The wife can't keep her hands off you (OK, that was a stretch). Overall, there is a freshness each and every week. Absence always makes the heart grow fonder.
When I returned from my trip late Thursday it was there again. That feeling that you are home again and all is right in the world. And, my goodness, had they been productive. A trip to Ikea gave Jen many assembly projects to piece together and the girls got to play "Design on a Dime" with their rooms. And the upgrades turned out great. The girls were excited!
So it was a good week. And Shannon looked great. All you have to do is take one look at her big brown eyes to see how she is feeling. That was noted on Friday when we were in to check Shannon's weight which was down marginally - but Dr. Rodriguez said all you have to do is look at her to know that Shannon is back.
Still we were ordered to rest up - stay out of the heat - and continue to build Shannon's strength.
So this weekend that gave us license to sit around, eat and watch some great sports drama together. The highlights included another Irish win in a major - Darren Clarke's triumph in the British Open. The Twins taking three-of-four from KC to pull within 5 games of 1st. And the event all of us were most excited to watch - the US Women's World Cup soccer loss to Japan in PK's. Shannon watched over at her friend Megan's. Jen, Erin and I watched together at home and couldn't help but smile at the joy on the faces of the Japanese players. Truly, that country needed the pick me up that the World Cup title provided them.
The perfect song for the mood is now playing; From Norah Jones album Feels Like Home...What am I to you?