The Things We Carried

I carried two small boys, their carseats on wheels, their faces excited about grandma, grandpa, and airplanes despite the 3 am wakeup.

I carried a 60 pound bag stuffed full of kids clothes and toys, but none for momma.

I carried their favorite duplo, carefully packed by Daddy to fit as much as possible in the bin.

I carried a backpack stuffed with my jewelry, camera equipment, laptop, our back-up drives.

I carried two diaper bags, filled to the brim with diapers, snacks, a few toys, and too few clean outfits.

The little guy carried his Elmo pack, filled with Elmo and some curious George books.

I carried fear for my husband’s safety.

I carried worries about getting the pup home.

I carried gratitude for all the incredible people on Evac Team Cairo who ensured our evacuation went smoothly.

I carried longing for my friends, our life, the home we have made in Egypt.

I carried pride in my husband.  His willingness to answer the call, despite the cost.

A few days later, my husband carried what I forgot: sunglasses, the charger for my camera.

He carried pictures of our Cairo apartment, of our artwork, of the belongings we had to leave behind.

He carried the bread pan my great grandmother made out of a parafin tin.

He carried the handwritten cookbook my grandmother gave me when I moved out of my parents’ home.

He carried his work clothes to get back to the job he loves as soon as possible.

I don’t know what he carried in his heart, but I wish I was there to help him bear the burden.

We carry relief at being home safely.

We carry intense joy at every American flag we see flying high this Fourth.

We carry our love for Egypt.

We carry a deep sense of displacement.

We carry our hope for the future.