The day he leaves…

Picture this:

A family of four is driving down the road. The mom and dad in the front seat are holding hands. The mom lays her head over on her husband’s shoulder. The boy is in the back seat playing a video game and the girl is holding a Barbie in each hand, pretending.

They know where they are going, but no one talks about it. There is nervous banter between the parents, as neither of them want to upset the kids that are now old enough to understand the situation. And neither of them want to let go of one another, so their knuckles are white from gripping hands. This particular drive usually takes forever to end, but today, the drive is not long enough.

They arrive.

They do not move. Not yet.

The parents, they hold onto each other, embraced.

Tears are in their eyes.

Mom’s mantra: “Don’t think it. Don’t think it. Don’t think it. Trust in Him”.

This is the hard part.

Dad has to go.

Mom wonders “will this be the last time we see him?—Don’t think it! Trust in Him”.

Dad tears himself away from mom, embraces kids.

Boy, that is almost a man, tries to choke back tears, but still they come.

Dad to boy: “Take care of your mom and sister”.

Girl, she cries, not wanting to let go.

Dad to girl: “Be a sweet girl”.

Mom’s throat is hurting from holding back as many tears as possible.

Dad to Mom: “I love you. I love you. I love you.”

Mom to Dad: “Be safe. I’ll be praying for you. I love you”.

Dad, “Let us pray”.

Mom thinks, “no praying, that means the end of our time together is here”.

Amen.

More hugs.

More kisses.

More goodbyes.

Dad throws bag over his shoulder.

This time, he has to walk away.

Mom: Don’t think it! Trust in Him!

Kids: wailing.

Dad turns around one last time.

He smiles, as best he can.

He waves.

Mom takes mental picture.

Family watches until Dad can’t be seen anymore.

He’s gone.

Mom: “Let’s go home babies”.

Babies cry.

Mom prays.

Boy prays.

Girl prays.

Trust in Him.

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