Sunday, July 12, 2009

There's No Place I'd Rather Be

I have been home for one week today and it has been a fantastic week! To me, one of the best feelings in the world is coming home again. There are few things that can match it.

You FINALLY get through customs and walk through the automatic doors and you see the vacant expressions on the faces of your loved ones (who have been at the airport for close to two hours already due to your delayed plane). There is that moment when they see you and you witness the most beautiful thing you will ever see. Their faces completely change. They are overtaken with excitement and love. Pure, unadulterated joy. Another glimpse of God. It just oozes out of them. I am pretty sure I yelled "get out of the way" and ran over a few people to get to them. You experience one of the best hugs of your entire life...can you even call it a hug? It's just not a strong enough word. Embrace. Just holding each other so tight, making up for all the missed hugs while you were gone. There is not one thought in your mind except for the presence of the people you are holding. And when there are 6 of you in the family it becomes a strange, choreographed dance. You take turns, grabbing whoever is closest, re-hugging, adding an extra person here and there, a big group hug, then back to the singles. You are so overcome that you can't talk. So much joy that words don't come out, only laughter.

And I don't care how old you get (24!), there is nothing that makes you feel totally safe and relaxed like being in your dad or mom's arms. Maybe I am a little sentimental towards them, but when you have looked at their faces and legitimately had the thought, "I will never see them again," your outlook on everything changes. Thank you, heart surgery.

It is such a statement of love to miss someone. Such an honor. Before you leave, the people who matter would call just to hear your voice once more, then while you were gone they would facebook, email, and text you, just to let you know they missed you and were thinking about you. I was overwhelmed by the love I received. It reminded me of the hospital days. Then you come home and phone calls and visits come pouring in. Friends and family alike. Is there really a difference between the two? I am not talking about shallow, fair-weather friends here. I am talking the real thing. I appreciate you guys so much and I love you!

Travel is a beautiful thing. You have the best time abroad, but then you come home to an even better time. It truly makes you appreciate what you have. I truly feel loved and this affirmation of love that has been flowing from family and friends is exactly the strength I needed to get me through whatever trials lay ahead. The value of this life is measured in love and people and relationships (one of Jesus' main messages). I feel like one of the wealthiest girls on this Earth. I am so blessed!

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