Yesterday morning, as I drove home from the airport after dropping my first mom, Caroline, off at the airport, I felt overjoyed as the sun rose. Only an hour before, we had both been under the same sky and admired the same stars, here in Central Oregon where I live. I wasn’t overjoyed for her to leave, quite the contrary, but I could be content with her leave taking, since she made my dream come true with her visit. For many, many years, I’ve wanted her to come to Central Oregon and see where we live and the town we spend most of our time in. Having been several times to visit where she lives, I know first-hand, the depth and breath that can be added to a long distance relationship by being able to picture what things look like. Now my mom can picture what we see as we go about our day. Being able to visualize where the stop at the grocery store is, what the schools look like, how far it is to church, what it means when I say, “My phone might drop, I’m driving around Lava Butte,”I hope, will open up the reality of our lives for her.
This trip of hers has been a long time coming. I’ve prayed over and over that she could come. That she could bond with the boys and get to know them better without them having to share her with lots of other family members on a trip there. To be among them in their midst riding in the car, watching a movie, playing cards, hiking or sharing a picnic lunch surrounded by greedy little Golden Mantle Ground Squirrels. Instead of loving the idea of them, she knows them better now and can build on this in-person relationship boost, with FaceTime and email and phone calls.
I didn’t do a good job of saying “Thank you” to her or my dad, for the financial expense it meant for her to come. For the disruption to their routine or for the emotional or physical strain it may have put on my mom to travel. I am more grateful that any words I can ever write or say. Hopefully, the connection that she now shares with her grandsons made it all worth it. The incredible blessing for the boys, and their Nanny Caroline, is that they now have a bond and relationship that exists beyond me being a go-between.
I have such a sense of peace that I received the moment I saw her at the airport on the other side of the revolving glass door, waving, wear a turquoise shirt and carrying her purse. It is another life milestone for me. One I do not take for granted. The afterglow of her visit is MORE than I ever dreamed for. I had no idea it could have this much meaning and be so magical.
Seventeen years after our first meeting, every time we reunite in person and throw our arms around each other, it’s better than the time before.