Monday, August 27, 2012
Just a little roadtrip
Another happy aspect is that our precious friends, Jerry and Heather, live very close to Dean's mom so we get to spend an evening with them. We were all friends in high school and had not seen one another since then until last year. Through Facebook, we reconnected and discovered that we would have the opportunity to meet for dinner during our Alabama trip. Between last year and this, Heather discovered she had breast cancer and has just completed her treatment. Truly, a celebration to be had thanking Jesus for his overwhelming goodness!
Can I share something with you? I'm so proud of my husband. Although his parents were happily married until his dad's death, Dean comes from a broken family. His dad was married and had four children before marrying Dean's mom. Those four half siblings and Dean were never close, sadly the two families never found a way to become one. As Ben (Dean's dad) was dying, the Mr. and his sisters, Diane & Jeannie, promised one another to mend the cracks in their family. His older sisters have reached out and reintroduced us to cousins and aunts and uncles that had long been lost to us. The Smith Family Reunion happens every year over the Labor Day weekend. We'd never attended because, well because we'd never been invited! Since his mom moved back down south, the Mr. has decided that he would schedule yearly visits with her to coincide with the family reunion in the next town. Last year was our first time to attend and, goodness, the love and immediate acceptance of the family was almost overwhelming. Since then, Dean's brother Dennis has passed away. All the more reason for us to gather ourselves together and honor the blessing of family.
There have been a lot of hurt feelings, resentment and distance over the last 40 plus years. There was some talk after Ben's death of everyone finally going their separate ways for good. In many ways, that would've been easier. But Dean has squared his shoulders and is reclaiming what the enemy tried to destroy...a family. His surviving siblings have opened their arms to embrace him.
Truly, this trip to Alabama is a celebration of God's faithfulness. Friends reunited, healing received, family holding one another closer and rising above the hurts of the past.
I've never been all that anxious to take that 12 hour trip. My perspective has changed. It's like a glimpse of heaven...loved ones waiting to welcome you home.