When I woke up Friday morning I still had the house all to myself. But then Friday was a long day. Longer for some.
- For Andrew, it started in Pisa when it was still Thursday evening in Tampa. He went the Pisa/Munich/Philadelphia/Tampa route and was actually the last one in.
- Rebekah, Naomi, Craig and David had to get up around 3:00 am in order to catch their 6:30 flight out of Hartford, Connecticut. I picked them up in Orlando at 9:30. We then introduced our grandson to Crackerbarrell and made it home shortly after noon.
- Andrew finally arrived at Tampa International at 9:00 in the evening. I've got to tell you, it feels good to get the whole crew together even if it's only for a couple of days. Maybe this is why so many people actually buy a bigger house after the children leave home?
Our grandson, David, is most definitely an awesome little dude. Believe it or not - and even though I tend to post a lot of pics of him - this is only the second time we've met "in person." The first was Thanksgiving, so the difference now is phenomenal.
I'm honestly astounded at a couple of facts. First: how fast a small, 18-pound, baby can take over the house and cover pretty much every surface area of every room with his stuff. Second: how much droll, repurposed food, and other (unmentionable) fluids a small, 18-pound, baby can deposit on pretty much every surface area of every room... plus every surface area of his grandparents' bodies. Remarkable.
Oh, but the joy! Look at this picture of him with his grandmamma Rebekah. Now that is one happy baby. And, that is one happy grandmamma.
HEALING: To me, this all represents the healing power of family... and of love. This weekend is only happening in response to the sad fact of my brother Geoff's death. Neither Andrew nor Naomi were "expected" to fly in for Sunday's memorial service, but both of our children said they didn't hesitate to make the arrangements, because family is so important to them.
In consequence, rather than being overwhelmed with grief we are being overwhelmed with love. We can count on one hand the number of times our immediate family have been together since Naomi's wedding. This is precious beyond description.
- Just hanging out with David...
- Playing on the floor with him...
- Watching how great Naomi and Craig are as parents...
- Enjoying how cool of an uncle Andrew is... - it's all heart-nurturing in the best way.
Bottom line, this weekend, in the shadow of the great loss of my brother Geoff, we can't help ourselves but say "How blessed we are as a family, and how grateful."
That's it for this weekend. I'll be back on Monday with a full report of the memorial service.
Love and Peace - DEREK