As I mentioned a while back, we've been preparing to welcome my parents home from Australia. And, I'm happy to report that they are now back home. We met them at the airport in San Francisco, with this hand-crafted banner:
We took the liberty of hanging the sign on the airport's line barriers, or whatever you want to call them. It worked quite nicely. And, we got more than one dazed traveller turn that corner from customs with great enthusiasm as they read the sign. It was great! Until we had to watch the dejection slowly cover their faces when they realized we weren't their welcoming party. Although, there was one guy who, when greeting his friend, pulled a Vanna White, pointing to our sign, as if to imply he had made it just for her. We didn't mind.
I'm pretty sure my parents decided to build up the suspense, purposely waiting to be the last ones to walk down that long corridor. But, once they finally did, it was wonderful to see them again. Hugs and then some...
After sending so many of us on missions, we had to make sure to get all the awkward poses that they got of us, and make this a real-welcome-home-experience.
That Wednesday morning in San Francisco was clear and sunny. Fifty-two degrees. Definitely not as winterous as other places on the map. But, since they were coming from three-digit temperatures in their summerous Sydney, it was quite a cold welcome for them.
Our plan had been to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, another family tradition of sorts, and somewhere in the middle share a toast with none other than Martinelli's. I can't blame them for not wanting to make the long walk after a 13-plus hour flight, especially with the shocking difference in temperature.
So, we just made a quick stop at the look-out point, took some photos...
... and still shared our Martinelli's. No need to throw everything out the window, right?
Finally home. Again.
There is some aspect of having my parents home that has helped with my grieving process. It reminds me of moments in my childhood when I would get hurt at school or at a friend's house... I would swallow down that lump in my throat, and bite the inside of my bottom lip to keep my chin from quivering. But, then as soon as I'd return home, the tears would come gushing out. With my parents home now, I've realized that maybe I have been holding more in that I thought. Maybe there was some release that could only come with them coming back home. I'm glad to have them back.
This homecoming of theirs has only made the anticipation even greater to be back Home again, surrounded in the arms of a loving Father, where I know I'll find even greater relief and joy than I am now able to imagine, where my throat lumps will disappear and my chin won't feel the need to quiver. There, "encircled eternally in the arms of His love"... those arms of safety, arms of mercy, arms of love. A grown daughter, who still needs the comfort of Home.