The past two weeks have been a blessing as my son has been home from Sandland, one of those countries where blood, sand and strife have mixed from the beginning of time, and wars have been fought for land, oil, and a variety of other reasons. Tucson has never really been his home, but it’s where his parents now reside and that makes it home in the context of family.
This is the first time we have seen him in a year, and even though we stay in touch by e-mail and once in a while a phone call, it’s not the same as being able to hold your flesh and blood in your arms and give a good solid hug.
I love my wife today more than ever, and I would dare to presume she feels the same toward me. It’s always dangerous for a man to think he knows how a woman feels. We spend our days content, and enjoying each others company, but when your child is in a foreign land, a place of danger, you are always aware that a piece of the family puzzle is missing. Without that piece you can still discern the whole picture, but the full beauty of the scene is diminished until that final piece is placed in the empty spot. My son has returned and now the essence of our family is one. The unconditional love of family is what carries you through the tough times in life.
Alan arrived home without notice late on Friday, October 23rd. He wanted to surprise us. I was roused from bed around midnight by someone pounding on our door. Running to the bathroom to throw on some clothes, I was wondering who could be at the door at that hour. The pounding continued, and I was beginning to get aggravated. Tripping and cursing to the front door, I didn’t even use the peephole to see who was outside, but instead flung the door wide open to be greeted by my sons smiling face.
I cannot express with words the joy that coursed through my body at the sight of Alan on our doorstep. After clutching him in my arms we spent the rest of the night talking. Mary hearing her son’s voice ran out to join us.
We spent the days he was here doing simple things together. Eating out, playing miniature golf, going to the zoo, and shopping. All those things were nice, but what made them special was our son being there with us.
We talked about his dreams and plans for the future. Living in other parts of the world has given him a better outlook on life, and opened his eyes to the many beautiful places and people outside of this country.
My dreams have diminished with age, but I still have hope. My sons dreams still burn fiercely in his heart, and at thirty years of age he has nothing but a bright future ahead of him. I have always been proud of Alan, and have been blessed to see him mature into a fine young man.
As he heads back overseas, I will carry the memories of our conversations, and the warmth of his hugs with me forever.
I am grateful. Mary is grateful.