It was a huge relief that Papa Jim was doing better. He insisted that we not sit around the hospital with him, but that we go and see what we could of London. His sweet wife stayed with him and the rest of us headed off for one day of adventure in London.
London was just full of bad luck for us. At the train station, Jeremy’s grandmother tripped on a piece of plastic and fell. One of the station attendants saw it and insisted that he call an ambulance to make sure she was alright. She was sore but otherwise fine; she’s such a trooper.
After Grandma had recovered a bit, we took the tube to various stops and saw what we could. We walked on the London Bridge, which was cold and extremely windy. We saw Westminster Abbey but were unable to go inside because it was closed for the day. We saw Parliament, Big Ben, and the Tower of London.
Then we finally made it over to Buckingham Palace and we couldn’t see anything because it was blocked off because of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In other words, our sightseeing was a bit of a bust.
Our daytrip to London allowed us to see some of the tourist attractions but we weren’t able to immerse ourselves in the culture there at all. I know that this post is whiny. For the first time and possibly the last time, we were in London, and it just didn’t turn out the way we had planned. But looking back, that is ok.
For us, London was not about palaces, Parliament, phone boxes, or tour buses. Those are just things we saw.
London was about the importance of family and faith in a time of trial. Emotions ran high: people were grouchy, babies were tired, grandmas were sore, and father-in-laws were in the hospital. But, we still managed to laugh and encourage each other. All of us being there together was key, and the people that encountered us daily—the doctors, the nurses, and the staff at our hotel—they helped to steady us by making our family feel a little bit more at home. Our circumstances in London brought us to our knees and the people of London helped to raise us back up again.
That is what London was about for us.