A few weeks ago, with the help of my oldest son, I realized something:
No matter where I am, for the rest of my life, I will be missing something.
Right now, what I miss is obvious. Dr. Pepper, chats with my best girls, marshmallow dipping parties, my church, my mommy, holidays spent with families...
When we go back to the states, I will have a whole new set of "missing". My best gal Vivi, my new church, The smiles of my kids in Sunday School, the cafe, chifles, empenadas, Gloria and Irma (my grandmas away from home).
I have a new life now. One of welcoming back those things I missed and saying goodbye to things I will miss again.
And I wouldn't give it up for the world. Not at all.
But, today, I will chat a bit about that thing I am missing the most in this moment.
Thanksgiving with family. You see, Dustan has a HUGE family and Thanksgiving is just not Thanksgiving unless they are all in one place. It's loud, it's laughter, it's young ones crying. It's Aunties holding babies so mommies can play games, and people eating. And eating. And eating. Until the men have a contest with all the pregnant women to see who has the biggest belly. The men always win.
Every year there is a gingerbread factory. Tables for miles filled with bowl after bowl of candy. Sticky fingers. Mouths dripping with red hots. Creativity and cooperation. Big cousins holding walls for tiny cousins. Uncles giving prizes hidden in paint cans. Chimneys with Ivy. Logs made of toostie rolls. Candy horses. Candy puppies. Children sucking on bottles of frosting. SWEET goodness of fellowship.
It's amazing stuff. Outrageously amazing. It's stuff of fairytales and novels. But, every year, for the Hester family, it's just plain real life. Hours of games. Snacking in between. Showing off those gingerbread houses. Big cousins doting on baby cousins. Great Aunts rocking great nieces. Children dancing. Adults playing dominoes. And cards. And Catan. Children joining in.
And I miss it this year. Something terrible. A bit of an ache, that I have learned to deal with. My kids have learned to accept as normal, that constant missing of things once normal has become a new normal. But, we all, every single one of us, are full of joy in the midst of this "Missing".
Because, we know. We know that the year after next, when we are in the middle of a candy house frenzy, a whirlwind of games, a house full of people...
That our hearts will be missing our home in Ecuador. A house in Gonzonama filled with missionary friends from all over the world who have gathered together to fill our hearts full of love. To give our hearts, missing home, a shot of pain killer. A dose of friendship, fellowship, games, and good food.
Even a turkey. And outrageously expensive turkey. But a real honest to goodness Thanksgiving turkey.
So. My heart is full twice over. Full of missing what usually is, and full of joy for what is now.
Gracias mi Dios por mi vida en este momento. Gracias para mis amigos en Estados Unidos, and en mi hogar nuevo. Gracias por todos. GRACIAS en este tiempo pr gracias. Gracia siempre.
(My spanish leaves much to be desired.)