I found that reading through stacks and stacks of old letters, praying and thinking and walking, offered the space for grief and healing that had been squeezed out in the two years since we left Uganda, squeezed out by medicine and the ongoing noise of normal family life and other good things. I needed time to reflect, and am extremely grateful that thanks to many people's sacrifice this was granted. In the process I wrote several hundred pages of what might be a first draft of a book. It needs a lot of work.
Now we are only a day away from the end of August, and turning a corner into the next season of life. Yesterday we left Luke in New Haven, having helped him move into his dorm suite. Since we've been absent for two years he really doesn't need that help, but it gave us pleasure to buy IKEA pillows and fresh sheets, to take him and his buddies to dinner, to discuss the merits of biochemistry and swahili classes. As I write this we're on a flight to Denver en route to Caleb's parents' weekend at the USAFA. In a week we'll be on a flight back to Kenya, thinking about patients and call schedules and soccer games and hospitality.
I am very thankful for this summer. For the bond of traveling with Caleb into this adventure of military service, for memorable meals on the coast in Amsterdam and on the porch in West Virginia, for the thrill of his letters arriving and his spirits strengthening, for the firm hug and proud tour on acceptance day. I'm thankful for time in August with my mom and sister and family, for movies with my buddy Micah, for seeing my niece and nephews in their home, for talking and dreaming with them. For brief, precious hours with some of the people we served with in Uganda, those bonds never ceasing, those loyal friends willing to meet off a highway here or there: Michelle, Ashley, JD (with Joe, Louisa, Nate, and Savannah!), Heather, Joanna, Sarah and Nathan. For a week in Norway with Scott's sister and family, getting in touch with the Myhre cultural heritage, unlimited wild berries, August snow, steep fjords, museums and hikes. For a chance to reconnect with Jack and Julia in this long time away from Africa. For Scott returning to America with me for the college visits. For our supportive church, for meals with friends, borrowed cars, generosity beyond measure, especially from my mom. Because there is always a cost to be paid, and the shared time with Caleb was only granted by missing a huge chunk of my other kids' lives. They are troopers.
If there are any readers who have not given up on us, let this serve as a notice by faith that we are back. If you'll still have us . . .