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Love, Laughter and Tears in the Terminal

January 7, 2017

I’ve always enjoyed people watching in airports. I often wonder where they’re flying to or from and I try to guess by the clothes they’re wearing or their carry-ons. It’s easy to spot the ones coming from warm climates, their skin aglow and tan. Spending time in the Nashville International Airport (BNA) often affords sightings of musicians and entertainers, some famous and some not, usually the guitars they carry are a sure give away that they will be playing music somewhere while they’re in town. It’s also reassuring to find that though I have notably little fashion sense, it does appear I have a little more than some I’ve seen traversing the terminals, though it’s just my opinion and quite possibly others would disagree.

Mid-December, my husband, David and I were two of many waiting for loved ones to disembark and make their way up the terminal in Nashville. Our youngest daughter, Katelyn, lives in Colorado now and we were excited she was going to get to spend the holidays with us. The day before, my oldest daughter, Allison and her husband Chris, had flown to England to spend the holidays with his parents. It was their turn and it is part of sharing children when the Atlantic flows between our continents. Thank goodness for the internet, “What’s App” and Facetime. Though it’s not the same, it’s always good to talk with them and see their smiling faces. David and I are thankful for every moment we get to spend with our children, especially now that they are grown and living adventures of their own.

Any trip to the airport to pick up our children is a good day. While waiting on Katelyn to make her arrival, I had the opportunity to observe many others waiting for loved ones who were surely traveling to share the holidays with them as well. I saw elementary aged children wildly waving and jumping as soon as they saw their loved one in the distance, urging them to walk faster. The wait had been long enough and the rope dividing the waiting area from the gates was clearly marked no entry on our side. It was obvious that also present were many parents waiting on college students, excited for the Christmas Break. One dad and daughter embraced for a long while, such a tender moment I witnessed from a far. I know that feeling, it’s the one daughters have when they are held tightly by their daddy and all is right in the world again. I feel it when I hug my father and I saw it in Katelyn’s eyes when she hugged David.  There’s something special shared, a bond between daddies and their little girls, no matter the age of either.

My emotions are more like those of the elementary aged kids, goofy with excitement. I could jump up and down, too, and to be truthful, at times have. But then, when my girls hug me, it often comes with an eye roll but it still feels great.

We had a really good, long visit although we did have to share Kate with other family and friends who hadn’t seen her in months or even years for some. One of the best things, though, about having her home is that I got to hug her every day and hear her sweet laughter.

I wonder if children ever really understand the absolute, incredible love parents have for them. Maybe not totally until they have children of their own will they fully grasp that we consider them one of life’s greatest blessings and totally adore them.

As the sun rose that last Friday in December, David and I drove our baby girl back to Nashville. Any trip to the airport that takes our girls away from us puts tears in our eyes. After long embraces at the security check-point, and “I love you” said more than once, David and I walked quietly back to the car. If he’s like me, he’s not speaking because he doesn’t trust that his voice won’t hide the emotion welled up inside. Once in the car, we say a prayer of thanksgiving for her and our time spent together and ask God for safe travels. We had prayed as a family before we left, but often times when we are emotionally moved, David and I just have to stop what we are doing and give thanks for the blessing or our children.  I am thankful that she is living her adventure and doing so well. We are very proud of her but we sure do miss her when she’s away from us.

Having Kate home for the holidays was a most treasured gift and soon, Allison and Chris will cross “the pond” and come home to Nashville, also a most treasured gift. I am so looking forward to hearing all about their holiday adventure in the United Kingdom. I have found it impossible to tire of hearing the stories my children have to tell. I linger on every word, trying to picture it as though being there myself, and thankful that they share their lives with me.

When it comes to our children it takes so little to make us happy – a smile, the sound of their voice and an embrace will do it every time for we truly treasure them. For as Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Note: Today, January 6, while reading over this column one last time before posting, news of the tragic shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport has been all over the airways. Quiet and still, I’ve prayed for the families who have lost loved ones, and praying safe travels for Allison and Chris. And now, I am thankful for their safe arrival in Nashville this evening.

Jan. 1, 2017 CCN article and photo by Rebekah Hurst, reprinted with permission

From → Family Treasures

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