Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

He’s not arriving on a jet plane April 7, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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I photographed this Frontier plane as it approached Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport early Saturday afternoon. Edited image.

I photographed this Frontier plane as it approached Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport early Saturday afternoon. Edited image.

SOMETIMES I AM SURPRISED by the nuances that impact me emotionally.

Recently it was the sight of jets flying into Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as my husband and I traveled along 35E in the south metro. My memory map directed me to the Cedar Avenue/Highway 77 exit, the route we take to the airport to pick up and drop off our son who attends Tufts University in the Boston metro.

I haven’t seen him now in three months, not since he returned to the East Coast following Christmas break. I miss him. Not with the kind of aching heart absence I felt when he first moved there three years ago. But with the sort of ache that slips below the surface and sometimes erupts into wanting to hug his lanky body and cook his favorite meal and tell him, in person, that I love him.

I felt the same at Easter. Instead of mailing him a chocolate bunny delivered by the U.S. Postal Service in three pieces, I would have preferred filling his Easter basket with too much candy and sugary PEEPS and hiding it in our Minnesota home for him to find. I don’t care that he’s 22. Everyone needs Easter candy.

I could imagine the loved ones awaiting the arrival of this Frontier jetliner.

I could imagine the loved ones awaiting the arrival of this Frontier plane.

I’ll admit to being envious of those moms who see their grown children on holidays, who can travel along a metro interstate, spot an aircraft and think nothing of it.

Ā© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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29 Responses to “He’s not arriving on a jet plane”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    I get it. It is hard for a mama to not be with her “babies” even though we raise them to be independent and live productive lives as adults we never lose the feeling that we want to be with them, right? I can’t wait to see Micah next month since we have not seen him since Thanksgiving. Thank goodness for FaceTime!

  2. Did you really have to add the “In three pieces” disclaimer? We here at the U.S. Postal service try very hard to get your packages to you on time, and in good condition… Sometimes stuff happens, like when people are not protective enough of their precious chocolate bunnies, and ship them in non-recommended containers or without sufficient packaging material to ensure a safe and carefree journey, could this perhaps, be the reason that the rabbit went to pieces? Please remember that like chocolate bunnies we too, at the Post Office, sometimes “go to pieces”.. Lol

  3. treadlemusic Says:

    Your word pictures are amazing!!! And, yes, those of us who have our loved ones close by may take that for granted a bit. I do remember those days when #2 son was in the Persian Gulf during that war. Although cell phone calls were available and relatively frequent, he was not home! I clung to the knowledge that we have a God Who is everywhere and that was my comfort (and often thought how His Son was away on this globe………surely, the Father understands this separation sadness that, at times, must be). Sending hugs and prayers…………….

  4. It is not easy to be miles away from family. We have been scattered for over 10 years now in 4 different states. My parents are getting older and with two uncles recently passing away it makes you realize time needs to be conquered and to spend as much time with your greatest someones. They will be back down here Dec – Mar. – be nice to celebrate the holidays with them since it has been some time. The in-laws arrive next month and have not seen them for about a year. I finally got to see my brother back in November and we have not seen each other since 2009 – way too long. I get it and I understand it and technology does help bridge the miles, but being together in person is the BEST šŸ™‚ Happy Day – Enjoy!

    • You have way too many miles separating your family. I’m glad you were finally able to see your brother. That is a lot of years not to see him. I am glad you can also see your in-laws soon and your getting all of that time with your parents.

  5. Littlesundog Says:

    I often think while reading your posts about your kids and being able to spend the time that you do spend with them, how many of the rest of us are dealing with broken and blended families, and also for me, never having the experience of having children at all. I’ve tried not to think of the sorrow of what so many families endure… and yet, I wonder at times if my life has been less complicated because of my childlessness. I may be more detached as a result. To me, Audrey, you are truly blessed with this yearning to have more time with your children… and soon you’ll be a Grandma. I think we always want family close and the physical contact that’s truly indescribable. I wonder how it must be for so many of our wild critters… such a short period of the mother nurturing and raising – teaching the ropes of survival, then the young are off into the world on their own, never to see the parents (most of the time mother, since many males never take part in raising young) again. Take heart in the beauty of your children’s strength to be on their own. You gave them wings to fly. And just revel in the times they manage a trip back home! šŸ™‚

    • You are right, of course. I have many reasons to be thankful. I was just in one of those melancholy moods when I saw those planes and wrote this post.

      I am a grandma. The granddaughter was born on Wednesday. I met her this morning. I am in love.

  6. Don Says:

    Having been a pilot for many years I have seen many happy reunions passengers experience when deplaning. Seeing loved ones surround the person the tears and hugs abound. Family is everything to me which is the main reason I gave up the cockpit and took an office job. The ability to see and experience my family growing up is worth more then any career. I, like you, remember fondly all the Thanksgivings, Christmases, school functions, sports games etc. that were a part of my children’s growing up years. Like my children used to tell me when they were younger and some special event was taking place “dad lets make a memory” and we would together make a point of remembering something special about it. Now when I find I am in a melancholy mood I remember these memories and my mood instantly changes.

    In due time your family will once again return and then you can to “make some memories”!

    Peeps are my favorite Easter basket item!

    • Don, you definitely hold the right perspective when it comes to family. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences/priorities.

      I love that moment when I wrap my arms around my son at the airport. Now when he leaves…not so easy.

  7. Sue Ready Says:

    Yes i wanted to do the Easter basket thing for my son even though he’s 41 and was some 1,700 miles away but sadly i had to opt for gift cards and a a nice Easter card. But I do think everyone deserves some kind of chocolate at this holiday time.

  8. ***I miss him. Not with the kind of aching heart absence I felt when he first moved there three years ago. But with the sort of ache that slips below the surface and sometimes erupts into wanting to hug his lanky body and cook his favorite meal ***

    LOVE Those sentences!!!!! xx


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