Before my trip, N handed me a package and said, “Here is an eye mask and ear plugs. I know you don’t like sleeping meds but here are some just in case it gets bad. Here is your passport. I put your Global Entry card in the pocket of the passport cover. Here is the insurance in case you get sick. Here is the card that will get you into the lounges during the layovers. Here are the cards that I set up for use in Europe. It’s a good idea to keep one credit card with the emergency info in a separate place in case you lose your wallet. Here is the emergency credit card and the contact phones. I’ll wrap the card in the emergency info sheet and tie it together with a rubber band.”
And he produced the rubber band.
The rubber band just about slaughtered me. It reminded me of my great-grandfather who was my primary caregiver throughout much of my childhood. He was like this. Meticulous, organized, thoughtful. He was all about caring for others. Not all others, obviously, but just closest ones. And he loves his rubber bands.
It’s funny how we get attached to a scenario so early in life and keep replaying it our whole lives. Together with rubber bands.