But while he was a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
Let me set the scene…..
Here’s this guy, thinks he has it all figured out. Demands the inheritance (early) from his father and takes off far away to have a good time. It didn’t take long for him to squander away everything he owned. I’m sure he had fun while it lasted, but reality set in quickly like a big ‘ol slap in the face. He found himself away from home, no money, no family, eating and sleeping with pigs. Didn’t take long to realize that he missed his home and family very much and he felt so guilty for how he had left. He decided to suck it up and make the walk of shame back to his family, he knew he wasn’t worthy and had already planned on telling his father he was no longer worthy to be his son and he would work as a hired servant.
Now here is my favorite part……
His father saw him from the distance and he RAN to greet him with hugs and kisses. Can you imagine what that looked like? Here is this kid who was sad, lonely, broke, hungry, full of shame and regret, stinky from sleeping with those nasty pigs dragging himself home, thinking his father will never forgive him. I bet he was overwhelmed with emotion when he saw his Dad RUNNING to him.
But the Father said to his servants. “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fatted calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” and they began o celebrate.
I remember as a child, my youngest sister always running away from home. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s not what you think.) She would pack her suitcase after having an argument with mom or not getting her way, sit at the bottom of the driveway and wait for “Cobby” to come pick her up. Cobby was our neighbor and happened to spoil my little sis rotten. She knew if she didn’t get her way, all she had to do was wait for Cobby to pull over and open the door and off they would go to Champs Gas Station. He would load her up with a soda and a big bag of candy, then he would eventually take her back home where Mom would be waiting at the door to take her suitcase, unpack her belongings and go about there day as if nothing happened.
Let me tell you about growing up in my home in that tiny little village….
My childhood was literally magical. I had the most incredibly loving and supportive parents. We came home every day to a spotless house, dinner on the table, and more laughter than you could possibly ever imagine. My sisters are still the best friends I have ever had and growing up, we never fought. We were blessed with a Christian education and rarely ever missed a Sunday morning church service. We spent countless hours hiking and riding bikes, playing volleyball, basketball, and learning how to drive a standard. We climbed cherry trees, picked apples, chestnuts, pears, peaches, blackberries, grapes, blueberries. My dad raised two gardens, worked all week, mowed 16 acres every weekend, but always found time to take us fishing, or teach us how to drive the old Chevette. We went out to dinner every Sunday after church and spent most of the time in the car singing and giggling….or as my dad used to say “Stop your ‘grab-assing’ around!” (Till this day, I am not quite sure what that means. hahah.) We played on the swing set in the back yard, had bon fires and when we got older used to sneak boys around that fire. Mom and dad were perfectly aware of our antics, yet they always acted clueless and let us live our lives. We were incredibly happy!!!
If we needed help with projects or homework, we knew we could always count on Jim Wood. He was kindof like a Grandpa to us. I still consider Jim the smartest man in the entire world. Jim would come over every night and tell us something interesting. He was an avid collector of National Geographic, took us on nature hikes looking for ginseng and Mushrooms, and loved to fish.
Jerry and Donna Cook were the movie collectors. Donna recorded every movie in the history of the world. Those were the times where you could put three movies on one VHS. We would go over there and pick out movies to watch for the week.
Then there was “Cotton”, he always gave us 50 cent pieces. Mr. and Mrs. Bayes always supplied us with oatmeal cakes. Mr. and Mrs. Carte loved for us to come over and sing to them while they worked in the garden. We were actually blessed to be able to sing at Mr. Carte’s funeral, as was one of his last requests.
Mr. and Mrs. Doss always had the warmest house. Hot coffee and apple pies. I will always remember Mr. Doss’ arthritic hands and he gave the best hugs.
Cobby, Mable, Lisa, Susie and Greg….they were just about the best friends and neighbors a person could have. Mable would crotchet us blankets and Cobby would spoil us rotten. Lisa and Susie were more like sisters and I loved every second I got to spend with them. They will always be life long friends.
David and Cherese Weaver were beautiful talented people. They were one of the reasons I took up photography and pottery. I loved to hear their daughter’s sing and was always so excited to babysit them because I knew Rachel would give us a personal concert.
There ya go…..I guess you can say I lived a charmed life in that tiny little village.
I said all of that to say this….
Growing up, I couldn’t wait to move away and get out of that little village. I wanted to get out of there so bad and make a life….I remember always thinking “the grass has got to be greener somewhere else and couldn’t wait to get out of there and live my own life. My life has taken many roles since then. I have been married, moved away, become a mom and am now divorced and raising the kids as well as I can. Their daddy does a fantastic job also and our kids are loved. I hope one day my kids can sit down and remember their childhood as I remember mine. I try to make it happy and make memories everyday with them….memories that will last their lifetime.
But today I am restless….I am thinking about home.
Just like the Prodigal son, he quickly realized that the Grass wasn’t greener. That must have been a long walk back home. But he soon realized “there is no place like home.”
The gratitude I feel for my two parents cannot be explained. The sacrifices they made will be forever engraved in my memory as the most selfless form of unconditional love. They gave up so much to raise us and make us happy. that is why I think I try so hard to capture every second with my kids with photos and videos…..time is precious and before you know it, they will be making memories with their kids and families. I only hope I will be the grandparent that my kids have been so blessed to have.
I feel as though I am rambling and I know that I could write another novel on just that subject alone…..from parents to Grandparents. the love that my family has toward one another is overwhelming.
I am signing out….make some memories with your kids today. Love them and never let anything come between you and them.
Until next time….have a wonderful day!