Shared by Missy Fischer - Content Author
“We are now calling all first-class passengers and travelers with small children to board United Airways,” the flight attendant announced. I stood up and adjusted Colton’s jacket, then turned to help Lilianna with her backpack. “It’s time for you guys to go now,” I said. I grabbed each child’s hand and escorted them to the gate. The travel agent smiled cordially at us with her pretty blue eyes and blonde feathered hair. I did not feel like smiling back. I spun Lilianna around and grabbed her soft cheeks. Looking into her big brown eyes I said, “I’m going to miss you, but God is going to take care of you.” Colton had his head phones on and was zeroed in on the ramp to board the plane. (He has a deep love for planes and often tells me he will be a pilot someday.) I wrapped my arms around their little eight and nine-year-old bodies and squeezed them with everything I had. Tears welled up in my eyes while I collected my emotions to say good-bye. I watched as they slowly headed down the hallway and disappeared from my sight.
For a while, I sat on the gray airport benches in the gate area to wait for their airplane to take off. (This is a requirement by the airlines when your child is flying unaccompanied and under the supervision of the flight attendants, should something go wrong before departure.) The plane reversed, and I continued to quietly pray for their safety as I made my way back to my vehicle.
After escaping the noisy airport chaos, I was finally alone with my thoughts. Echoing in my mind were the words of Lilianna right before she left, “I’m going to miss you, Mommy.” Her sweet voice was still so audible, and I could still smell the sweetness of her freshly shampooed hair that I had previously caressed in the airport terminal. I thought about Colton’s long skinny fingertips that he daily offers up for tickles, acknowledging his need for love through his Mommy’s touch. I recalled all the beautiful classical love songs he plays so eloquently with those same fingers: a gift God has given my special needs little boy. More and more memories flooded through my mind: memories I had been too busy to appreciate in the craziness of my everyday life. As beautiful moments were continually recalled to mind, I was reminded that we aren’t promised tomorrow. First a single tear fell from my eye, and then they started to drop like rain.
How had I forgotten to appreciate the ones I love so dearly? How had I forgotten what God taught me just five years earlier, when I fought through breast cancer and first-hand witnessed how quickly life can come to an unexpected halt? And how did I forget that just one year ago this Easter, we lost two friends in a motorcycle accident at the early ages of 34 and 40? How could I have been so blind to not cherish every single laugh, every broken boo-boo, every warm embrace and every “I love you” from the ones I love most?
I sobbed like a little baby who had been stolen from her mother. I cried out to God, I’m so sorry, Lord. Help me to see all the blessings in my life that You have given me. Help me to recount all the beautiful things you have done for me. Help me to seize every moment, to pour into the people You have blessed me with. Though I know I haven’t been grateful for all that you have given me, please grant me more time to love the people in my life better… the way that YOU, Lord, love me.
I received a text later that evening that my older two children arrived safely in the arms of their dad. And for the short time they are gone, I will continue to thank the Lord for His endless mercy which He has poured out on me and my family. And I will continue to ask Him to keep them safe, to help open my eyes and see all that He has given me, and to truly love as if it were my last day on earth.
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. For His steadfast love endures forever!”
Thank you, Lord for one more day; one more chance. May my life continue to increasingly reflect the love and grace that You have given to me. Amen.