Thursday, March 13, 2008

Old friends

This morning, Juli and I went to visit Hannah's family. I hadn't seen them since she passed away, and both of us were missing the family who had very much become like our own after our weekly visits to their home. As we drove the all-too-familiar road to their house, driving up the really rocky final stretch (the part of the drive where I thank God every single time for my incredible car), I so wished we'd find our friend by her back door, on her 1"-thick mattress pad, basking in the sun. But at the same time, it was very comforting to know that Juli no longer has to try and figure out how we can adjust her medications to alleviate the growing pain. She was now with Jesus, singing her heart out, I'm sure.

We walked up to the Bandes' humble home, and Nancy immediately came to greet us. She gave me the biggest hugs, and her eyes filled with tears, possibly from joy to have us back with them, or with pain of remembering her mom. Who knows.

During all our other visits, we either joined her in the sun, or, if she were in bed, we'd make ourselves at home at the foot of her bed. Today, for the first time ever, we sat in their simple living room. And we visited about life. Like always, we sang together, and prayed together, promising we'll be back. We won't forget them.

But as we drove off, Juli commented how things are just not the same anymore at the Bandes. Hannah's spunk was missing. Her daughter Nancy has a bit of it, though, and we had laughed with her when she was acting in a way that so closely resembled her mom. But we miss Hannah. A lot. As does her family.

I found out today that I will be able to come to the US for a missions conference at my church in Iowa early April. I don't know my specific travel schedule yet, but I do know that I'll be spending time in the Midwest, some time at our office in the LA area, and then some time in the Northwest for class.

I look forward to seeing many of you soon!

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