Thursday, August 29, 2013
She’s happy; we’re happy
Most who know me know I’m an emotional guy. Tears are just a part of my being.
I did my best to fight them back Wednesday afternoon of last week. I don’t think they were visible, but they were definitely there.
As Pam and I waited in the airport terminal at Little Rock, Ark., with daughter Emma, before she went back to the boarding area an hour before her flight to Dallas, Texas, I started reminiscing.
I talked about how fast we had gotten to this point – 22 years worth – from her birth in 1991, to the first day of school, junior high, school musicals, soccer, high school, college and her taking a position at Mission Arlington, about eight hours away.
I know I hugged her at least three times – maybe more.
Then Pam asked, “Are you ready to go?”
“No,” I quickly replied.
We stood over in the corner, near one of the airport shops, and watched for Emma to clear security.
If you’ve flown lately, you know that can take a while.
Then we saw her pass on through the security section and head toward the American Airlines boarding area.
Pam asked again, “Are you ready to go? Or do you want to wait until her flight takes off?”
I wasn’t sure about my answer to that one. It took me a good five minutes to say – “let’s go, I guess.” I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave the airport just yet.
But we did start our three-hour drive back to Holly Springs.
Emma had flown several times before. I’d never had this much trouble with it. I’m not sure why – I guess just a different stage in life.
Emma’s flight was scheduled for 6:15 p.m.
Pam actually talked to Emma a couple more times while she waited at the airport.
Meanwhile, I watched the clock steadily.
“I’m on the plane,” Emma texted about 6:05.
Then I breathed a big sigh of relief about an hour and five minutes later when Pam got a text, “We’re on the ground in Dallas.”
That night I got a view of Emma’s apartment, thanks to technology, and her happiness was obvious in her conversation and her huge smile.
Pam said, “When she’s happy, I’m happy.”
And I totally agree.
She’s working from like 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Mission. It’s where she spent her summer a few years back and she felt a strong calling to return for a year before graduate school.
Emma definitely makes this father, who by the way celebrated his 52nd birthday Sunday, a father filled with pride. No doubt, she has her priorities in order.
She has a strong desire to put those less fortunate before herself and help them in anyway she can, and that’s what we are taught to do in the Good Book.
Her younger brother Andy has told me more than once, “Dad, that’s where she’s going to stay.”
I used to think – surely not – but then I realized I’ve raised a beautiful, kind, loving young, faith-based woman who is prepared to make her own decisions.
I do hope that during this next 12 months we know she is going to be in Arlington, that we can go for a visit or two. Her next trip home will be Christmas.
Please, keep Emma and her work in your prayers.
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