Wednesday, September 24, 2008
My twenty-fifth birthday was approaching...and so was the trip to visit my father.
My dream come true...at last...a reality.
(this is usually said about a husband...he too was my dream come true!)
And he would share this journey with me.
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
It is January 1980 and my stomach is so full of butterflies, I can't sit still in my seat on the airplane. As I walked to the back of the plane, the flight attendants were standing there chatting. As we said hello, the usual in flight conversations started.
"Is this a business or pleasure trip?"
Oh my...what a question to ask me of all times!
And so I began with the letter reaching my dad and his phone call and that when we land, I will see him for the first time in 21 years!
They were ecstatic! The depth of the meeting began to sink in when they saw that I was with my husband and three small children as well.
Not only was this man going to see his daughter...but three precious Grandchildren!
They now could not wait for the landing themselves. I had to hurry back to my seat as the approach for landing was now underway.
As we touched ground...my husband gripped my hand with assurance. Assurance of hope...that GOD was in this!
As we waited our turn to exit the plane...
My father and his wife were pacing the waiting area. He had set his alarm on his watch for the exact time our plane was to land. And it did sound off! He was counting every moment!
Coming down the walkway...we knew immediately who they were. They looked just like the photo my father had enclosed with the tickets. A pleasant smiling couple.
Now....they were waving...smiling and trying to get closer.
My father immediately reached out his arms to embrace....his "Princess"
The tears of joy overflowed within our hearts as well as upon our faces. He knelt down to hug each of ....his grandchildren.
And then he gave my husband a tight hug of approval.
His wife also was beaming with joy...she was the one left to explain all that was going on while the flight crew and Captain stood watching with tears in their eyes.
The Captain shook our hands and said what a pleasure it was to deliver such precious cargo on his flight! He wished he'd known.
Perhaps it's just as well he didn't...we might have had the newsmen there and a brass band! The brass band would have been nice!
I can't help but imagine the Angels in Heaven singing praises at the good work of God.
We all huddled together chattering away as we picked up our luggage.
My father just looked at us over and over in amazement. He was so happy.
and...I was too.
The "Princess" treatment began as soon as we arrived to their home.
There were gifts for everyone...a special coffee mug with my (real) name on it.
Yes, just for the "Princess"
The children had their own room and some new toys.
We felt so at HOME.
I did not realize that all the neighbors knew about this meeting. And later their very close friends living across the street came to meet us. A wonderful couple with three children...close to the ages of my own. (God is so good!)
(I wondered...if they had peeked out the window upon our arrival...I think so!)
There was so much to talk about...years...photos...and today.
The next day...was shopping day. Just my father and I.
He wanted to take me out for my birthday and buy an outfit. How nice.
A nice dress? NO...head to toe outfit!
I found a lovely skirt suit...and a must was a lovely blouse to match...and shoes..and a purse!
Indeed.... I did feel like my daddy's...."Little Princess"
When we arrived at the house, my husband greeted us at the door, smiling from ear to ear.
"So what did you get?"
as we entered I heard... "SURPRISE!!!"
There was the neighbors and my step mom laughing as I looked upon all the children seated around the dining table wearing bright yellow plastic cowboy hats and surrounded by western decorations...and a huge decorated cookie in the center of the table!
It was just so cute to behold.
My father and his wife lived in Texas and since this was our first time to the state...it was only appropriate to bring in my birthday...Texas style!
Everyone began to sing...and I cut the first piece of the cookie.
(I always wondered if my children thought that was an just ordinary birthday party!?)
During the visit...we went to the zoo...the ice cream shop...barbecued. All full days filled with making....memories.
I know my father was trying to make up for lost time. At times I felt awkward knowing this..and didn't want him or his wife to feel that they owed me anything.
This made them happy though...and you could tell.
It was the joy of finding him that brought me such happiness...
deep within...knowing God's hand was upon this...
the witness of his saving Grace was within reach.
I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.