Let me begin with the postscript. I often title these posts after famous songs. I switched this one around to fit, but something in me gets sorta choked up every time I hear "Leaving On A Jet Plane," written by John Denver and made famous in the sixties by Peter, Paul and Mary. "Don't know when I'll be back again. Oh, babe, I hate to go..."
Fortunately, there's another side to these sagas and that's what we saw yesterday. Planes were filled with people on their way to see loved ones for the holiday. Upon arriving in Providence, we had a few minutes to wait before we left the airport. In that time, Cathy and I got to watch the beauty and the drama as families greeted each other.
One young mom arrived with her little boy -- a toddler with not-quite-secure steps. He held his mother's hand, fell, and got back up unscathed. Looking just past them, we saw grandma, down on her haunches with arms outstretched. Her excited smile said it all! His return "who is this lady?" look told us she would need to crank up the charm to win the little guy over. No doubt they're "best buds" by now.
We saw another young mom and her beautiful little girl waiting for someone and never got to observe that reunion. But about the same time, we saw a young couple greet what looked like the young man's grandparents. Cathy noticed that his wife looked like she could deliver her baby any minute. Happy arrivals to come!
I could turn this into a serious post about some of what I believe heaven will be like, but I choose not to. Suffice it to say that I think these earthly homecomings are just shadows of the real deal God has planned for His own family.
We have celebrated numerous arrival moments over the years. Some stick out. Like the time my dad was celebrating his retirement from a career of making cars run smooth. He was that honest mechanic that people came to from many miles away.
My mom had told him that some people were coming over for a big get-together after Sunday church services. A number of folks came and set it up while he was at church. What he didn't know was that our son Sean -- 13 at the time -- and I were flying in for the occasion. We intentionally stood back out of his view and grinned as dad greeted each person and exhuberantly thanked them for coming. Suddenly he looked up and there we were. We hadn't seen him in a long time and he was overwhelmed. What a great time!
Do you have a favorite experience you would like to share? Sound off!
My current favorite was yesterday, when Book Girl Molly greeted us as we arrived at her house. She sees us all the time on a webcam, but she was bewildered by our presence.
For about a minute. Now Grammy and Sampa are her best friends.