My mum is coming! My mum is coming! I’m so excited! I will pick her up from the airport on Monday. I will be full of excitement and hopping from foot to foot with joy - and will immediately burst into tears when I actually see her. The whole ride there I’m thinking “there’s no way I’ll cry this time, I’m way too excited” but I will. Every. Single. Time. There will probably be a few undignified snorts too - why break with tradition?
I love the airport. I really do, of course Arrivals is a happier place than Departures but either one is a great place to sit and observe humanity with one layer or superficiality removed. Particularly wonderful to watch is when some new grandparent arrives and meets their new grand baby for the first time. My lower lip is wobbling just thinking about it. But all the joyful greetings and awkward handshakes and the relieved smiles of those arriving at their destination are certainly powerful.
It’s funny how sometimes I will see the same people who arrive on my mum's flight joining her again on the flight home. They all wear the same expression and it’s a very old fashioned look. They’ve done the things they wanted to do, spent time with those they love, and filled every moment of their stay. And they’re tired. They are happy to check their insanely heavy baggage and have a last hour or two together waiting, and re-visiting the happiest moments of their visit and reassuring one another of their continued love and support from afar.
When it’s time to part, but it’s kind of a relief that the wait is over, there’s no need to be sad, it’s done and the journey is coming to an end.
Ideally, those happy reunions and tears of joy are repeated when they arrive home tired, dirty and longing for rest.
A friend of mine just recently got moved to Palliative Care. She’s ok with it. She says she’s “ready to lay her burden down”. She is very aware that she will be arriving back home to a riotous welcome, finally, and rest as a child in the arms of The Lord.
By Bishop Brent
A ship sails and I stand watching till she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says She is gone.
Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large now as when I last saw her. Her diminished size and total loss from my sight is in me, not in her.
And just at that moment, when someone at my side says she is gone, there are others who are watching her coming over their horizon and other voices take up a glad shout – There she comes!
That is what dying is. An horizon and just the limit of our sight.
Lift us up O Lord, that we may see further.
Thank you Gracious God for the joy of time spent together.