Tears of Thanksgiving
Peggy and I are empty nesters. Our three children are all grown, married, and we now also have four grandchildren (one of whom will be born in April). We LOVE this station of life. To see our kids thriving as married adults is a thrill reminding us that all of that hard work over the past three decades was more than worth it!
However, since our kids are all grown and married with families of their own, it means we do not always get to be with them over the holidays. Elliott and his family live in Jacksonville, FL, and Ian and his family live in Siloam Springs, AR. The deal is “supposed to be” that we have the family with us on Thanksgiving one year, and on Christmas the next year. 2016 was supposed to be our year to have everyone here for Thanksgiving.
We spoke with Ian and McKayla back in the summer and fully understood that Ian would not be able to get enough time off at Thanksgiving time for them to make the long journey to Vero Beach. We got to see them several times this year already, including a week that Peggy and I spent in Arkansas with them this summer. We were just resigned to the fact that we would NOT have them all with us for Thanksgiving.
Little did we know that our kids were all conspiring to throw a major surprise our way. It appears that everyone on the planet except Peggy and me, knew that Ian, McKayla, and Landon WERE coming for Thanksgiving after all!
Tuesday night, while we were waiting for Elliott, Abi, Micah, and Eden to arrive from Jacksonville, it happened. Emily came in the house to Taco’s usual greeting. Then, I looked up from my easy chair to see Landon walking in the house! The tears flooded my cheeks, and I jumped up to scoop that little guy in my arms. Ian and McKayla stood there grinning from ear-to-ear. Emily was smiling her biggest smile ever! Not only were all my kids and grandkids going to be here for Thanksgiving, but Emily had arranged with a friend to do a family photo shoot at Memorial Island on Wednesday.
This is the most precious gift my family could have given to Peggy and me. After Jesus, family is foremost in our books. My tears of thanksgiving continue as I type this on Saturday morning. Elliott’s crew is back in Jacksonville now. Ian’s crew will be here through tomorrow. The precious memories of the past few days will live with me forever.
Time and distance can cause families to drift apart. I pray that my kids, their spouses, and my grandkids will NOT allow drift to occur. I pray that they will always desire to spend time with each other. I pray that they will all know how very much GaGa and Pop Pop love them. I pray that each of them will be mighty warriors for the Kingdom of Christ. I am a most blessed man.