I treasure this picture of our family devotions the morning of Grandpa and Grandma Garcia's departure from Pennsylvania. For the second time during our furlough year, they had given us the gift of their presence for three weeks. On this occasion, one of those weeks was dedicated to watching their six grandchildren while Pedro and I traveled to California. Now it was time to say goodbye for what might be up to five more years before our entire family would be together again (although we are trusting God to provide a reunion sooner!)
Tight hugs were exchanged all around as the older kids prepared to leave for school that morning. Ian and Alec had an extra hour with the grandparents, and Silas the honor of accompanying them to the airport in Harrisburg.
We are so thankful for the precious family God has given us, and the memories made during our time stateside. During this particular visit, Grandma was working through some health issues and carefully watching her diet. As a result, she introduced us to places we'd not yet found such as farmer's markets and health food stores. She also shared our kids' passion for "KC Warehouse," the hidden gem of inexpensive assorted items for sale in an old building behind our house!
Grandpa Garcia filled our house with laughter as always. One of his wishes during his time in Pennsylvania was a trip to Gettysburg. We took off on a beautiful day and while the three older boys stayed with their Fisher cousins, the rest of us headed to the Gettysburg Visitor Center. We viewed the film, cyclorama and museum, then used a phone app to follow the battlefield trail in our vehicle. Twice we walked through living history sites where men and women dressed in period clothing shared stories from those moments in history. We ended our day quietly at the cemetery where President Lincoln gave his famous address. As someone who has worn the uniform of his country, Grandpa Garcia greatly appreciated the day's events. It was a sweet privilege to make these memories as a family.
Several of our kids enjoyed rousing games of Dutch Blitz with Grandma Garcia during her visit. She had patience and energy for endless rounds on many occasions! Often she, Ian and Alec would use their extra time in the morning to play together, either Dutch Blitz or sometimes the Rubiks card game. Happy memories!
Having granted Grandpa's Gettysburg wish, we had the pleasure of fulfilling Grandma's desire to see a musical theater production at Sight & Sound Theater in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Brand new this year, the presentation of Jesus was an amazing representation of His life, ministry, death and resurrection as recounted in the Biblical gospels. With stages on three sides and exceptional talent, the words and music and message were inspiring and humbling. Another amazing memory!
Tears were shed at the Harrisburg airport on the day of departure, although you might not see them in these pictures. Whoever thought to put rocking chairs outside of security for the comfort of passengers and those seeing them off, was a genius! Silas was especially gleeful as he climbed in his own seat next to Grandpa while Grandma finished her final healthy drink before the trip.
We watched as they cleared security after warm hugs goodbye, then slowly made our way to the parking garage and into our maroon Beast and headed towards home. We are so thankful for sweet family moments to last us until we meet again.