As I settled into the middle seat relieved and sweaty (I had to run through the airport) I was a little bummed to have to check my bag, only because I wanted to be home and in the company of my family as soon as possible and who wants to wait for a carry-on at the carousel (Isn't that the point of a carry-on? Well, that and not paying a fee).
Fast forward six hours.
As I waited wearily for my luggage in the freezing throes of SeaTac I noticed a family surrounded by balloons and fanfare.
On second glance (because of course with that much excitement you have to take a second glance) I noticed a kid wearing a sweatshirt from the local high school. I took a closer look to see if I knew anyone...I mean what are the chances...
Pretty good apparently, because I did know the family!
They had traveled much further than I and I'm sure they were so much wearier, but they were also more joyful, having just arrived from the Congo with their sweet little boy whom they have been waiting for for years.
All of their faces were bright and smiling and though they had traveled many miles and many hours they seemed refreshed and at peace because they were together!
I watched them from across the way for awhile, as friends and family gave hugs, said hello to the newest son and loved on the family. A boy had a mother, father and two brothers. A mother and father had three sons. A family complete, whole and sowing roots together.
They know they have many joyful and tearful days/weeks/months/years ahead, but the sweet celebration of coming home will always be remember and cherished.
It made my coming home a little sweeter too...
As they were getting ready to leave I gave the mother a hug and then stepped back into the crowd so thankful I had been "inconvenienced" and had to check my bag.
Otherwise I would have missed this holy homecoming.
When have you been inconvenienced only to be rewarded?