So the family member whose husband passed, the one I spoke of a month ago, has finally been able to go back home to the province. First off, let’s note how long that took! She got news of her husband’s passing last month, and we were only able to book her a flight home exactly a month later. It was so hard to get flights, and even as this one was booked, we kept getting notice of its delay. There was so much confusion with email and SMS notifications with the airline – it was either they were being confusing on purpose, or there was just a coordination/communication gap within their own channels. There were times we assumed it was the flight going to the province that was canceled, when it was actually the return flight to Manila. Other times, it was just the time that was moved, and the flight was still pushing through. So much of the requirements such as the health clearance and travel authority, as well as her pickup to and from the airport in her hometown, were held tentatively, and some of the requirements almost didn’t make it in time for her flight because until the last minute, we didn’t know if her flight was actually going to push through. What an adventure.
But now she’s finally back in her province, and is able to fix what she needs to fix regarding her husband’s passing. It was bittersweet to send her off – it felt like missing a tooth back here. The whole family said their goodbyes and the younger ones told her to please come back. It was mentioned half in jest, yet also something we had to prepare for, in case she wished to stay behind. She’s been living with us for so long and of course we’ve grown attached to her.
Of course, it was also a relief that the trip has finally pushed through and she’s been able to go back to her hometown and do what needs to be done. The whole ordeal of letting her fly took a lot of work, time, and coordination – from the booking of the actual flight, to the back and forths with the confirmation of schedule, to the arrangement of her requirements and the logistics of being brought to the airport and being picked up in the province, in order to be brought to her home where she was to be quarantined. So many arrangements, so much ado! Just a year ago she also went home and the effort exerted for the same travel was about an hour’s worth of work – finding the most economic flight, booking it, and arranging for her airport drop off. It was that easy. Now it was a rollercoaster ride for her emotions as well as ours, that was a month long. I’m not so sure I’d be up for this kind of travel arrangement anytime soon.
The experience made me wonder a lot about how long it would take for air travel and travel in general to get back to how easy it used to be. It was a commodity we all learned to take for granted – and now, it’s a very notable inconvenience. I don’t see it as a leisurely activity anymore, the way it used to be. Five years maybe, before things are the way they used to be again? I hope that’s already too long.