(Rachel might kill me for this post, but here it goes anyway)
Long before I met Rachel, she had another special man in her life. Someone who was by her side at all times, through thick and thin. Before I became her travel buddy, he filled that void. He traveled the world with her and they experienced a ton of cool things together. He even slept by her side every night! That special someone is a guy I call: Mr. Pillow.
When I met Rachel 8 years ago, I noticed she had this dilapidated old pillow. It was an old feather pillow that looked like it had about 30% of its fill left. I didn’t think anything of it until our first weekend away. She came downstairs with her bag of clothes in one hand and this weird old pillow in the other. I questioned the pillow and told her that the cabin we were going to had plenty of pillows and all of the bedding was provided. She informed me about how special this pillow was, and that it goes everywhere she goes. Rachel could probably tell you the exact date she got it, but I think she’s had it since she was like 9 years old. Knowing how important Mr. Pillow is in her life, I have never questioned the importance of it since that first weekend away 8 years ago. I simply smile when I see her pack it for a weekend camping trip or for our adventure across the countryside of Peru. I honestly don’t think she has slept one night without Mr. Pillow in the last 20 years!
Fast forward 8 years to today, that pillow is still around and the third wheel of our relationship! The only difference in Mr. Pillow nowadays is I think he is down to about 5% of fill left. He weighs about 1/3 of an ounce and without the pillow case, wouldn’t even look like a pillow. As we prepared for our adventure to Kuwait, I knew Mr. Pillow would make the trip with us in the carry on bag. Over the years Mr. Pillow has found a soft spot in my heart. Mostly because I know how special he is to Rachel, but also because I’ve slept with him on a nightly basis for the last 8 years. We both know that Mr. Pillow is priority #1 when it comes to precious cargo. Well . . . . . I regret to inform the rest of the world that I LOST MR. PILLOW THE OTHER DAY!
I was in charge of the carry on bag with all of the precious cargo including, our laptop, iPad, passports, travel documents, and Mr. Pillow! He didn’t fit in the carry on bag, so we strapped him on the outside of the bag. When we arrived to our apartment from the airport, it was about 30 minutes later when Rachel asked where her pillow was. (I’m the only one who refers to him as Mr. Pillow!) A sense of panic fell over me as I tried to back track my steps with the carry on bag. I knew I had the pillow at the airport, but somehow it must have slipped off of the bag during our trip to our apartment. I endlessly apologized for my mistake and Rachel kept reassuring me that “it’s ok.” However I knew deep in her heart that there was a void. I had killed off the man who had been with her through so much over the years. The thing that has always been by her side and was the most comforting thing to home that she had in Kuwait. Rather it was the jet lag or just a lapse in responsibility, I knew i was the sole reason that Mr. Pillow had gone missing. I had zero faith that we would ever see Mr. Pillow again 😦
(Fast Forward 48 hours)
So today we are strolling through the courtyard at our apartment building complex after work when SUDDENLY, out of the corner of my eye I spot a ray of sunshine. (which was difficult to see because the sun is freaking intense here). Near the security gate, on the ground, tucked back in a corner along a wall, was a small bundle of something. We were about 20 yards away when I shouted, “its your pillow!” I don’t think Rachel could quite process what was going on in my mind. I knew right away it was Mr. Pillow and ran to him with glee. Rachel stood in awe as I joyfully embraced him. I had to shake all of the sand and dirt off of him, since he spent the last two nights sleeping under the stars of Kuwait, rather than in our bed. Rachel was a bit shocked and skeptical until she looked inside the pillow case and found her sleep mask and ear plugs. Just then, she realized that she had been reunited with her pillow. It was a joyful couple of milliseconds before our excitement wore off and we were back to normal life. I’m happy to report that Mr. Pillow is back in bed with us tonight!
Perhaps you caught the line in the last paragraph about my wife’s sleep mask and ear plugs, we’ll save that story for another blog post later. 😉