19 August 2016

Homecoming

2014 / 2016
Two pictures.
Two years.
Two countries served.

One farewell hug.
One awesome homecoming embrace.
One mission served.

One missionary home.

This past Wednesday, TMFKATB returned home. I know this comes as a surprise to all of you because there's been nary a mention of it here. I've really downplayed it. Oops! Sorry for that #KatrinaPiersonHistory moment! It's been the complete opposite and thank you for indulging our family as we've documented the lead up to his return. I'll wrap it up today with a few highlights from his homecoming.

Wednesday morning started as it normally does - early, with me ensconced at my desk in my home office. About an hour into my day, my email alert chimed and there it was. An email from Delta announcing that TMFKATB's flight was delayed by four hours and no alternate flights were available.  Suffice to say, it was not welcome news. Ironically I'd joked the week before with one of Delta's most senior leaders by all that was holy that he was making sure all went well on 8/17. Guess who got my first email after getting the delay notice? Long story short, within about 90 minutes and through the miracle of playing "Let's Switch Airplanes!", the original flight was restored and all was on time again and all was well in the world.

I worked until noon and then jumped into help the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML with the last few things she wanted to do to prepare for his arrival. This included mowing the lawn, which I could have held off doing so that TMFKATB could do it for me since he hadn't had the opportunity in the last two years. But I mowed the lawn because #fatheroftheyear. We got his 'Welcome Home' sign hung and the flags of Mexico and Utah secured in the lawn. Once that was done, it was time to head to BDL.

@universe.byu.edu
This was NOT the scene at his BDL homecoming. No hordes of screaming relatives. No Haka rituals. No professional videographers calling for the returning missionary to come back down the escalator because the lighting was just a little off. Ours was far more subdued. Here it is:

video

It was, and is, a moment we will never forget. Watching the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML sweep our boy into arms was priceless. Embracing him again was as good as it gets. I hardly wanted to let him go. There were tears, laughter, and a whole lot of joy.

That joy has not dissipated. There have been some very tender moments that are best kept private. There have been very funny moments as we continue to watch him adjust to 'civilian' life. On his first night home, he fell onto his bed as if it was the greatest thing ever created. He keeps grabbing his chest where his name tag sat for two solid years. It's clear he feels exposed without it (There's something to that - taking off my tag was toughest part of my coming home). He has called me to repentance on multiple occasions as well (which is probably deserved, if I'm being honest). It's been funny to see what he's missed. I suspect that will keep happening...

We are overjoyed to have our boy home and grateful for his service. We are grateful to all of you for your support these past two years. We are beyond blessed.

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. ~ Karl Barth

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