Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Family Time

My brother came into town Saturday September 5th for a ten day surprise visit . . . and surprises were all around. I was surprised Saturday September 5th in the morning when I found out my dad spent the night in the ER in Parkersburg with stomach pain and was being transported to Charleston for further examination because of a weird EKG. (He turned out to be alright, and the hospital staff believes he had food poisoning or some type of virus).

My dad was surprised when a familiar voice asked if about joining dad for lunch as my dad sat down in my car when I picked him up from CAMC Sunday morning.

Later that day, my sister was surprised when my dad and I joined her and her husband to go for a walk in Parkersburg's City Park. It was so awesome because neither my dad or sister had a clue that my brother was coming in. Thankfully, my dad didn't have to spend much time in the hospital either.

As we were finishing up our sixth mile of hiking, we saw a couple of familiar children sitting by the city park pond. They were my best friend in the whole world, Willie's, children. And they added to the surprises. Willie and his wife Sue came walking through the park and it was a pretty awesome time of reunion.

Later on, Jamie and her mom came down to visit for a bit, and we had a big surprise meal to finish off the evening.

I was able to spend two whole weekends with my brother and my family and there is something richly satisfying in that. The surprises were great (except for the hospital visit), but the greatest thing for me was spending time with my family. It has been a little over two years since my mom went to be with Jesus, and she is still deeply missed. Even though there is an empty spot where she would have sat in the photo above, and an empty spot in all of our hearts, I know she would be glad that we still love one another deeply and simply spend time laughing and enjoying one another.

Family and friends are a great treasure for me, and I will cherish the many simple memories I was able to share with my sister, my brother, and my dad over these last couple of weekends. I don't know when we will all be together again, but it will never feel soon enough or long enough. Time together is a rare gift indeed.

If you are far from your family and friends, I pray you have time very soon that you can spend with them. If you are close, give thanks for the opportunities you have to create memories together. Time together with loved ones is truly a precious resource.

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