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Family Matters: Presence


I only see my family, if I’m lucky, twice a year.  This year, I was lucky.

You see, they live in Virginia and I live in Texas. That is too far apart to visit often when everyone works full time, has families and has kids who are busy in activities and sports.

Every year, the whole family converges on the beach together for a week. That’s almost a given.

But this year, my parents came to Texas for Christmas. They left the rest of the family behind (sorry Andy, Juli, Beau, Jim, Lesley, Jameson, Rylan, Greycen, Beth, Becky, Anthony, Ben and Claire!) and flew to our town in the wee hours of Christmas morning. I’m pretty sure they probably passed Santa and his reindeer somewhere near the Mississippi River. They landed, beating the EF-3 tornado that touched down in East Texas Christmas morning. They rented a car and drove to our house, beating the torrential rain and snow storm that covered the land on Christmas day. They came, to visit, and just to be with us: me and my boys. Too often, we think about the holidays in terms of “presents.” This year, I received what I longed for most, the “presence” of the four people I love most – my parents and my children. In the chaos of Christmas gift wrap, scattered toys, new pajamas, video games to play and the buzz of electronics–in a quiet moment, there was pure happiness. Pure presence.

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