Monday, May 22, 2006

Graced by Voice-Mail

Last weekend was an emotional rollercoaster. I went back to Salem Covenant for the first time since moving to Santa Barbara in September 2005. I was invited to officiate at the wedding of a former confirmand and friend who is not part of any church in the Twin Cities, so it was ethically appropriate.
My son Isaac met me at the airport and shepherded me through the new light rail system in Minneapolis. We walked about a mile from the station to his house, where he hosted me (a very cool thing for a dad to experience; kids taking care of me). My daughter Elizabeth joined us for a delightful Greek dinner Thursday night. Friday I observed Elizabeth teach K-8th grade music at Hope Charter School in lower East-Side St. Paul, in the former administration building of Hamm's Brewery. It was the neighborhood I played in as a child, now 99% Hmong. Again, I was overwhelmed to see the professionalism and competence of my daughter at work, teaching, guiding, disciplining and engaging class after class. The wedding was outdoors amidst threatening rain, but all went well. Saturday night my children made dinner for me and we sat around Isaac's dining room table and talked and then went walking through the neighborhood. What another treat!
Sunday I went to Salem's earliest service, principally to hear Cindy Reents on the pipe organ. It was masterful and food for my soul. Unfortuunately I could not greet Cindy, but greeted everyone else around me before heading out, late, to the Bloomington Covenant Church where my broher Tim preached a barn-burner sermon on John 15. We all went out to Perkins for lunch with my folks and then I packed for the airport.
Sitting in the airport I felt like a totally blessed dad, except for one thing, I missed Luke, my middle son. So I called him, getting his voice mail and told him about my weekend and how I was 2/3's fulfilled, missing him too. My plane came, I got on and turned off the phone and flew to Santa Barbara via Denver. Upon landing in Denver, I flipped on my phone to find a voice mail from Luke. He was in Denver between flights from Kansas City to Eugene, coming back from a weekend Ultimmate Frisbeee competition. So I called him immediately. He was just a few gates away and would be boarding in 15 minutes. He would run to my gate and find me. I got off the plane and saw this lanky boy running through the crowds looking for me. I shouted "Luke!" and he saw me. I hugged him harder than he expected, but it was a dad's drream fulfilled: all 3 kids in one day, with the help of voice mail! I slept most of the way home to Santa Barbara, listening to Simon Preston playing Bach organ numbers and grateful to be a dad.


At 8:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Don,

Carolyn (your stewardship buddy) here...I've been enjoying your blog, but this entry moved me as a parent. I had goosebumps as I read about your encounter in the airport, and felt a taste of the joy you must have experienced in seeing all three of your adult kids. How wonderful that your day could be TRIPLY blessed!!


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