It is a decidedly odd feeling to suddenly be on my own again.

“When I go off, nobody cares. When you go off, the whole family comes to see you off,” my husband fake-pouted as he dragged my duffel bag-on-wheels. I was holding on to Skyler, reluctant to let go. My girls were impervious to my impending trip, their attentions instead captivated by the wide, open, slidey spaces of the Seattle-Tacoma airport.

I smiled at his tease but there was a sick feeling in my stomach. It was stupid. I would only be gone four nights. My kids are fine with my in-laws and their father. I was hardly one foot on the plane and I was already kid-sick. It is sadistic, this kind of misery, self-inflicted and indulgent and stupid.

Perhaps it’s also because I have NEVER EVER traveled on my own before. I was always with a colleague or a fellow reporter from a different paper/mag, or with friends. This time I am ALONE alone.

Of course, there’s also the fact that I’ve never been away from the girls. Not since my honeymoon a year after Rae was born, and then our trip to Seattle to scout for a home a year after Sky was born, which just abour tore a big chunk of me off. I know, it sounds pitiful and idiotic and pathetic, and it probably is, but I can’t walk past a family restroom or a stroller without feeling like I’ve just abandoned my children FOR DEAD!!!!

Okay, okay, too much coffee. Get a grip, woman…

I am typing this at the Detroit Airport, which is huge, rivaling in size and magnificence as, well, KLIA (Seatac is rather old and comparatively petite). I arrived about 35 mins ago, 5.30am Eastern time and my flight is in an hour. My huge duffel bag, which I’d stubbornly refused to check in because I am paranoid about losing my baggage, given the lousy rep of American baggage system (Lokes has had his fair share of his luggage traveling to more places than him). In truth, I cannot bear to part with my knickers.

Okay, it is NOT that huge and I was sure it would fit in the overhead compartment. However, the baggage size-checking thingie did not think so right at the boarding did not think so. So it’s now tagged and probably flying off to Alaska as I blog.

There is another reason for the general cloud of melancholy that has beset my little cross-country trip. On our way to the airport, we received a call from my future sis-in-law.

Her dad, who suffered a stroke from an angioplasty a few months ago, is now facing severe complications.

He may not live to see another day. That was four hours ago.

Please join me in sending prayers/thoughts of strength and perseverance to Asther and her family.

Okay, packing my notebook and going to the boarding gate for Chicago now. Let’s hope my luggage is safely in the same plane.