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Monday, January 5, 2009

Long-awaited Reunion

My parents will finish their mission this week. They have spent the last 18 months in Sydney, Australia. We took advantage of the opportunity and visited them for ten days in March of this year. It is one experience we will never forget - we had such a fantastic time!

It has been hard to face some of this year's challenges without my parents near. So many times I've yearned to have my Mom comfort me in only the way a mother can. And I've needed my Dad to lovingly put his arm around me and reassure me that everything will be okay. I have felt their love and support, though, from afar.

I'm extra grateful for my siblings and close friends who have stepped in and filled some of those needs and yearnings. Marc, especially, has been faithful in standing by my side every step of the way. We have found a new closeness with each other. How I love him.

With my parents' arrival approaching, I've been thinking a lot about our reunion. Anticipating the joy that we'll feel, and the tears of joy and relief that will be shed. Those long-awaited hugs and kisses will mean so much more, after the time and distance that have separated us. Just even the thought of seeing them in a couple of days brings tears to my eyes.

And, as I've envisioned being with my parents again, I've thought of another reunion where the roles will be reversed. Being now in the position of daughter welcoming my parents home from a long and trying mission, has offered me a better glimpse from the perspective of our twin daughters. I'm sure they feel many of the same feelings of anticipation and joy at the thought of welcoming us back home, with them in heaven.

There are no words to describe how I feel about that joyful reunion that awaits us. We'll finally be together with our girls again, and our heartache and grief will be swept away. Although, I have to admit that it's still so painful to recognize that our "mission" here will likely last for another 60 years or so. We find great comfort in the promise of the joy that will replace the pain. And, for all of this pain, there must be something truly great that lies ahead.

"The cavity which suffering carves into our souls will one day also be the receptacle of joy."

- Neil A. Maxwell

"The deep hurt is the mirror image of the deep joy that still awaits you."

- Bruce C. Hafen


Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

BEAUTIFUL! I am a mother awaiting the return of her son from his mission and I can hardly stand it. The joy will so outstrip the pain, won't that be a glorious time? You and your husband are in my thoughts!

Jen said...

so well put! I'm glad they will be back safe and sound!

Allred Mom said...

What a wonderful reunion it will be for you in a few days with your parents and also another one in a few years...(yes, 60+ is a few!) with your sweet little girls. I plan on being at that one! :-)
Enjoy your reunion with your mom and dad! Enjoy each tender embrace from each of them!
Love ya!

Mindy said...

I came across that first quote a couple months ago and loved it. I now love the second. :) Thank you for sharing!! :)

Kim said...

How wonderful the reunion with your parents will be...and the reunion with your girls someday. Thank you for helping me keep things in perspective. Not always easy.

Andrea said...

Beautiful Megan! You are such a wonderful writer and I can't wait for both of us to have our reunion again with our kids. (60 years sometimes just seems unbearable for me but some how we will make it) I'm so glad you will have your parents with you again.
Lots of love!

Michelle said...

That is a beautiful post.
Interesting timing, because I was pondering that very similarity a couple of Sundays ago.
A lovely young sister in our ward just returned from a mission to Paraguay. She had served with her whole heart--I know, because I had been reading her emails that her mom forwarded.
When I gave her a welcome home hug, and mentioned to her how impressed I was with the deep love she had for the people in Paraguay, tears immediately sprang to her eyes.
I know she was so excited to be with her parents again, but I could sense also the pain she felt at being separated from those people she had served and loved so dearly.
It made me think of what it must have been like for Benjamin to return to Heavenly Father. Surely he was so happy to be with his heavenly parents again, but I can't help but think he felt pain, too, at leaving us, and knowing how much we would miss him.