This is the second posting in what will eventually be a long list of "People I love" entries.
Jan and Laura: (Laura is the one with the temporary belly). We took this picture the morning Jim and I were to head to O'Hare to catch the plane to Germany. Jan and Laura took a walk to our house to give us a hug, wish us well and say a prayer with us before we left. Their visit was unexpected and warmed the cockles of my heart.
It is so nice, amazing, wonderful, blessed to have people who love us so much that they drop by for no other reason but to pray for us. This world can seem a lonely place sometimes, so I am grateful for the reminder that we are loved. Jan is Laura's mom and she has a big heart for everyone. There is an innocence about her that I find sweetly refreshing. She's one of those people who, when she asks how you are doing, really wants to know the answer. You know what I mean? Unlike those people who ask and are really running through their grocery list in their head at the same time? Laura is one of those few good friends who really "get" me. I am especially grateful for their visit because Laura has met my Dad and truly understands the significance of this trip for me. She knows how much is at stake for me and the importance of it to my Dad. I know she knows it without me having to say a word. Laura is the reason our church has a connection to the Dominican Republic (story for another day).
It's a beautiful day. Our travel from Bremen to O'Hare was fairly uneventful with the exception of one wrong/missed turn. Never fear, we found our way. Zip! We drop the car off at Avistar for long-term parking. Zip! We arrive at the Lufthansa area. Zip! We find our place in line. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. We stand in line for our boarding passes. There's a glitch with their computers. We don't care, we are just happy to be there.
As I sat on the plane waiting for take-off, unexpected tears pour down my face. I'm thinking of my father who should be making this trip with us. He's not, but he is in spirit. I know how his heart wants to go, but his body will not cooperate. It's bittersweet, really. So much about this trip will be different without him beside us. I was so looking forward to standing beside him as he pointed to this and that and told his stories from so long ago. I am grateful I was able to visit in April and recorded some of those stories.
I write for me.
What's up with those shoes, you may ask? After driving 30 minutes to work one fine day, I looked down as I got out of the car and saw this. Good thing I work with middle school students! I used it as a teachable moment to show them how one could survive something stupid and laugh at oneself in the process. Invariably, whenever I wear the "giraffe" shoes, a student will comment that, "Hey, you're wearing the same shoes today!"