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“I just got off the plane.” -My text to Val.

“We just pulled up into the airport. We are walking inside.” -Val, to me.

(For us to get through two consecutive texts without a disastrous typo is rare.)

“We??” I wondered, since I was only expecting Valerie to pick me up. I walked faster, ready to be done with airports for the day! Who did I see as I began to descend on the escalator? Val, Hanner, Kay and Martin (one of my favorite almost-2-year-olds) were waiting for me at the bottom. They smiled and waved and tried to point me out to Martin, who couldn’t see me yet.

I waved wildly. Suddenly his eyes lit up and he yelled, “Fwancen!” (his current name for me) as he began jumping up and down. I should mention at this point, he was wearing child-sized cowboy boots. The excitement became too much for him and he started to run about in circles!

Yes, it was one of the cutest things I will ever witness. My dear friends, smiling and laughing with glee. The antics of a toddler who was amazingly thrilled to see me. All this unfolding slowly (yet too quickly) at the speed of the escalator as I balanced my luggage.

My tendency is to wish I had a picture but some things can’t be picked up in a photo. This was only meant for mental pictures and savoring the joy of the moment.

Isn’t that like joy? Meeting me at the end of a long journey. Surprising me and overwhelming me with grace. Pure and overflowing.

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