Naylor: Is holiday travel really worth it?
No loving son ever wants to break his mother’s heart, but on Tuesday morning I had to do exactly that.
I told her that I won’t be coming home for Thanksgiving.
It was anything but an easy decision. After waking to howling winds at 3 a.m. and realizing that the incoming storm was stronger than I had anticipated, I spent the rest of that early morning sleepless, pondering other options and hesitating to make the call.
I blamed myself for my foolish assumption that the storm would only dust us downvalley, and I’d get clear roads from Eagle to Las Vegas. It’s usually not a bad drive when it’s dry and you can take advantage of the generous speed limits. Though I knew about the multiple storms coming in this week, wishful thinking fueled my confidence that I would get a time window just wide enough to make it home.
And then 5 a.m. hit, and there was a fatal accident on I-70 in EagleVail. I immediately thought of the people involved, and how some wouldn’t be making it home for Thanksgiving, either. It was at that time that I knew it’s better to make the call myself than to have someone else make it for me.
It wasn’t necessarily a “call,” per se. I sent a text instead. My millennial inclination is that it’s much easier to hide your emotions behind a text message. In this case, I was still unsure about my decision, and I knew she would hear that in my voice, but I didn’t want to have to break the bad news twice.
That’s not the only benefit of sending a text; it also means that I can quote my mom’s response, word-for-word:
“Your safety is of the utmost importance to us. I know you want to come as badly as I want to see you. There are several storms back-to-back, so make a choice that secures your safety. Both of you (me and my wife, Jessica) are precious cargo.” She ended it with a heart emoji.
Moms are the best. While I’ll miss her, and her cooking, on Thursday, I know I’ll be able to do a makeup visit soon.
Also, on the bright side, it’s not so bad being stuck here. Heck, there’s no place I’d rather be stuck. I have my wife, dog, friends and fresh snow on the mountain. And if that’s all I have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, then I still consider myself pretty darn lucky.
Cheers to all of those who made it safely. For me, I’m already home. Happy Thanksgiving.
Thanks to a partnership between The Community Market and Colorado Mountain College Vail Valley, students can now access nutritious food at no cost to them without having to leave campus.