The day of my much anticipated and long overdue trip home had arrived. I had made packing lists weeks ahead, piled and re-piled my clothes to take. I double and triple checked that I had everything I needed ready to go. Wallet, phone, plane ticket, camera, passport, green card.
I stopped mid-checking. Wallet, phone, plane ticket, camera, passport….where was the green card? I dumped the whole bag out and started to replace items, marking them down as I went. My movements started to get more frantic as this scenario went on. My anxiety level rose to sheer panic. “I need my green card to get back here”, I started to mumble under my breath. It became a mantra.
A knock on the door announced the arrival of my dear friend, who was going to drive me to the airport. She took one look at me and asked what I was missing. At this time I had started to rifle through the carefully packed suitcase, messing all the folded clothing up. It looked like a bomb had hit! “I can’t find my green card”, I yelled, panicked.
She calmly pushed me down onto the couch and took over. First she re-organized my suitcase so it would close and put it by the door. Then she grabbed my bag and slowly looked through everything. Nothing! She grabbed my wallet asking if she could check. I gave her a nod, my eyes about to spill over with nervous tears.
One by one she pulled all my cards out and eventually let out a victorious shout. “It’s right here, behind your drivers license”, she calmly said while pulling it out to show me. “You must have stuck it into the same slot when you put it in there for safekeeping!” I let out a shuddering breath of relief. My hands were shaking hard from all the adrenaline. With weak knees I got up, grabbed my things, took a last look and locked the door behind me.
It took almost all the way to the airport to calm down from that panicked moment. She dropped me off at departure and gave me a gentle hug. “Why did you fret about your green card so much” she asked. I looked at her and responded “I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to come home to my dog”. She didn’t say anything and just pulled me in for another tighter hug. She knew that my dog was my life, without her I was nothing.