Friday, June 07, 2013

Leaving Cherokee

We drive my mom back to her house late at night after our Family Feud game.  She asks, "Are you coming by in the morning before you go?"  Fred says no, we're getting an early start.  I am surprised and not prepared to say good-bye to my mother right now.  So this is it. She runs to her bedroom to get her parting gifts--nuts and candies, little treats for the road.  She is such a generous person.  Then final good-bye hugs with my little mother standing in her living room.  I don't want to leave her.  Sorrow in my heart, as always.  How many times have we had to say good-bye through the years?  It never gets easier.

As we always do, we drive past her front door, pause, and she stands in the doorway to wave.  Tears blur my eyes and I can hardly see her. 

Early the next day we eat breakfast in silence, all of us thinking of the last few days and leaving everyone once again.  It's a cool, crisp morning in the mountains and I take this picture from the front of our room.  The views here are spectacular from every angle, but my camera can just not capture the beauty and grandeur. You have to see it for yourself.  A verse comes to mind, "As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people." (Psalm 125)  I pray God would surround my family.  We pack up and go.

The highway switches back and forth between the mountains, winding and turning up and down and around the peaks.  Fred gets a text message and I take his phone.  It's my brother Jim.  He is sitting outside on top of his mountain, thinking of us.  We finally drive across the Tennessee state line.  I look behind to see the Great Smokies sheltering my beloved family.  Our thoughts turn to home.

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