I spent some time at the airport yesterday. I am a people-watcher. This is a good pairing.
There are so many stories being told at the airport.
I saw a large group of people leaving the airport. One, a man in military camo, carrying a sign that said, "Welcome Home Daddy!" while several toddlers, his wife, friends, and siblings welcomed him home with complete, unashamed, joy. What stories they must have to tell. Fear, trust, bravery, separation, reconciliation - on all sides.
I stood for a good while watching the corridor where those arriving and those meeting the arrivals first meet. An older woman arrived, nearly running down the corridor to embrace her husband. They looked like newlyweds in their hellos. It was beautiful. I love that they still love like that.
I watched a woman standing in line at the security check, slowly wiping tears from her eyes. I could not see any indication as to why, but I could see her pain. Something common to us all.
I watched an older husband and wife, backs to me, stand and watch a woman, who I assume was their daughter, the whole time after they were forced to say their good byes. They watched her move through the security line, the checks, and at the last point they could see her before she moved out of sight, the daughter (who looked to be about my age) waved goodbye with enthusiasm, clearly excited about where she was headed. Mom and Dad finally turned around after she was out of sight and headed toward the escalators. Mom was crying. Dad was holding her. My thought? It never changes. This blessing and curse of being a parent. We will be forever proud of their independence, their accomplishments, their adventures, but moms will never stop worrying and missing. Dads will never stop holding us up as we walk away, trusting God to hold them when we cannot.
We have so much in common. Our joys. Our heartaches. Our celebrations. I wish we could remember that - and speak a little more tenderly, celebrate wildly with those that have reason to celebrate, mourn with those who have reason to mourn, look for ways to ease the pain of others, love more.