Where to begin to record the moments that made this family vacation so special? It was not any one firecracker moment (bear with me, I am writing this post on the 4th of July!) but a series of simple scenes that tenderly made a up a whole week of wonderful memories. Like the one captured in the picture below, a short window of time when my dad, Silas and I were waiting for other family members to finish their rides at Knoebels and Silas in his stroller and Pop-Pop in his scooter shared a quiet connection. It was meaningful for two reasons: first of all, Silas has yet to get to know his extended family and was being understandably shy with everyone (except cousin Kai!) this week. Second of all, for a very long time Pop-Pop has resisted riding a scooter but on this occasion of family vacation he did something he'd never wished to do in order to keep us all together. And that brings tears to my eyes.
In keeping with the picture above, the two photos below also captured sweet moments of Pop-Pop with his granddaughters. I can't help but think of the little poem about walking with Grandpa which says, "I like to walk with Grandpa, his steps are short like mine. He doesn't say, 'Now hurry up!' He always takes his time ... Most people have to hurry, They do not stop and see; I'm glad that God made Grandpa 'Unrushed' and young like me." Although Pop-Pop isn't walking in either picture, he is taking his time with Sofia at lunch and Eva on the deck and they are blessed with his "unrushed" company.
Now Mom-Mom, on the other hand, has a hard time sitting still. (Unless she is immersed in a good book and that did happen during family vacation as well!) These pictures taken at the Crayola Experience are special because not only was it the first time we visited there, but it was something that Mom-Mom had always wanted to do and several of us got to make that memory with her. It was a madhouse with multiple floors packed full of kids and our own crazy crew of cousins anxious to take it all in, but we survived!
On our way to the Crayola Experience, I was able to drive with Mom and have some time to talk about the ways her and Dad's life is changing. She didn't try to sugarcoat or exaggerate their reality: it can be hard, but it is what it is and God will see them through. I cherish my mother's faith in her Heavenly Father and the privilege of seeing it fleshed out year to year, in different countries and circumstances and seasons of life yet unwavering in trust and devotion. And lest I get sappy and sentimental at this point, let me insert one of my favorite pictures of Mom from family vacation which highlights another reason we love her: that wacky sense of humor! But below that unforgettable scene, yet another which is a perfect illustration of why so many other people love her. Mom invests in people's lives, especially those of other women through relationship and mentoring and Bible studies and example. (Not that she, Terri and granddaughter-in-law Carey were doing anything deeply spiritual at that moment other than awaiting the outcome of the cousins' scavenger hunt - but you get the idea!)
And speaking of the cousins' scavenger hunt, they begrudgingly looked at Aunt Steph's camera before the dramatic dash began:
To be continued ...
(Read Part Two)