Friday was a day of mixed emotions for me.
One side of our family (Anthony's side) have eagerly been anticipating the return of Anthony's sister, Paige. She has been serving a mission for our church in the US. Aside from about twenty minutes of Skype time total, our only contact with her has been through letters and email.
Anthony has served a mission and understands how wonderful it is, but for those back home, the countdown to their return begins the day they board the plane. This time he was on the waiting end. I could see the excitement building and how thrilled he was to have his sister return home.
We woke up 4:30 AM Friday morning and arrived at the airport by 6am. We secured a spot at the front of the arrival gate armed with a variety of banners and signs. There were nine flights arriving at the same time and it took almost an hour before Paige came through.
Tony and Carter were first to run to greet her. I wondered how well Carter would remember Paige seeing as he was young when she left, but his reaction made me realize he remembered her just fine. It was so nice to see everyones reunion with Paige, but what I loved most seeing was Paige's reunion with her Dad. He waited back til last and after everyone else had greeted her, she tearfully hugged her Dad in the type of embrace that speaks a thousand words.
She was truly missed and whilst everyone was proud of her for her decision to serve a mission, there was such joy in having her home.
On the same day, the other side of our family was experiencing a much different day. My own sister, Jade and her husband Matt welcomed a son into their family two weeks ago. Leo is their first son, and little brother to a very excited big sister, Pacey.
Leo didn't come into this world alone though. He shared his little space inside Jade with a sibling.
In April we all received the exciting news twins were on the way. As the months passed, we also learnt that one of the twins had some features that caused concern and the future was uncertain.
Unfortunately a while later in the pregnancy, there was no longer a heartbeat for the little twin. The doctors thought it best to keep the little one in for the sake of little Leo and so they stayed together til arrival time.
Friday was the day Jade and Matt had the burial for their little baby. They have been so strong and I am so proud of my little sister for the way she has handled everything.
Friday was a day of mixed feelings for me. But I was happy that Paige's homecoming fell on the same day. It made me think of my little niece or nephew who too would have had a joyous home coming awaiting them on the other side. With the beliefs I have, I know there would be family waiting with arms outstretched. I know with certainty there would have been a loving Heavenly Father waiting to welcome His child back home. There is sadness for Jade and Matt who would have loved the opportunity to keep their little baby here with them, but the separation is temporary, and it's a great comfort to know their child is in good hands til that time, perhaps the best hands.