Visitors, Airlines, Terror and Love

My mom has visited me in Ankara three times.  It’s a really wonderful feat considering she is now in her 80’s. Each time she visits, she also makes a stop in Germany to visit her family.  And each time she visits, she says she’s afraid it will be her last time – she doesn’t think she can handle the journey anymore.

Welcome to Ankara!

Welcome to Ankara!

In August, I received news that Mom was coming again with one of my many brothers.  I nearly jumped out of my skin!  Mom was coming AGAIN!  And none of my brothers had visited me here yet.  One sister has also been here three times, two other sisters made the voyage once, and a nephew came once for the Istanbul marathon. I have had a few of the German family here also. This upcoming visit was major news!

Since that day in August, I checked every travel route imaginable to find a decent-priced ticket, without having to send Mom around the world to get here.  I looked several times a day for two months straight.  But the airlines are out of their cotton-pickin’ minds! For the most direct routes (which is now 2 stops although there is a better way with 1 stop), the prices were over $1600 for two destinations.  Even round-trip prices just to visit the family in Germany were around $1300. For your comparison, I can currently fly the reverse route from Ankara for only $600.

My original plan was for them to arrive next week, but I checked everything into early December. No go. A couple of days ago, they decided to give up searching and perhaps come in the Spring. For some reason, I was okay with that.  I had this nagging feeling.  I just kept thinking, “There must be a reason this is not working out.”  God had a plan.  Really?  Was I thinking such a thing?

Yesterday, two bombs went off in Ankara, about a 10-minute drive from my home.  It happened as a PEACE RALLY was about to start.  My husband and I were not there and we are fine.  But Turkey is NOT fine.  The current death toll is almost at 100, with hundreds more injured.

I have thought of adding pics here, adding news links, adding videos, but you can look those up yourself if you have not already seen them.  There was one touching photo, but unfortunately I can’t find it now.  It was a of a man on a stretcher being loaded into the back of an ambulance. His arms outstretched up into the air, with tight fists, still shouting, demanding PEACE!!

Photo courtesy of  AP

Photo courtesy of AP

Honestly, I’m not quite sure where I am going with this.  It is as if I want to say, “God has a plan.  It is not safe here for your Mom and brother to visit.”  But that simply isn’t true. Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.”  Whether you believe in Jesus as God or not, you have to admit, it is a wonderful way to live life.  Love one another.

The truth of the matter is that none of us are truly safe.  Terrorism by definition instills a strong sense of insecurity wherever we are:  work, malls, parks, train stations . . . We all know this.  So don’t think, “This can’t happen to me.”  It can.  But my advice to you is DO NOT live your lives in terror of taking the next step.  TERRORISTS WILL NOT WIN!  They simply cannot.

We must stand together.  We must demand peace.  We must love one another.

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