Monday, June 20, 2016

24 Down, 3 1/2 To Go

Last June I published this post with this picture:
As I reread that post (multiple times, I must admit), I sobbed. I can't believe it's been two years since these two have been together.

And now?
McKay is home from Korea. I still can't believe that's real.

So much has changed while was away. His grandpa Shelley passed away less than a month ago from complications from a stroke. Grandma was at the airport to greet him just like when he left, but this time she was alone.
And new people joined the family while he was gone. Baby Ruby . . .
. . . and Calvin, a new niece and and a new nephew.
I love watching the missionary walk toward their waiting family and friends.
I don't know what mixed emotions they feel as they walk down that corridor. It's sadly over? I'm finally home?
But I do know how the mama feels.
It's the most joyous of days and can't be explained until it happens to you.
Two years is such a long time to be separated from your child. Four video calls. 104 weekly letters.
And that's all.
Everyone reunited.
It's an incredible moment to be cherished forever.
Those first hugs.

Getting reacquainted with little ones who have only seen pictures and don't really remember this stranger.

And, of course, meeting new loved ones.
I hung back and snapped pictures for a while, but when it was my turn, I couldn't hold back the tears.
And then McKay whispered to me, "Here, other mom. Here's a hug from Ben in Peru." Then I lost it.
So proud of my other son. How I love McKay and the man he's become. Lily grabbed a hug, too, and  I could guess what she was thinking. "Soon it will be my brother. But not soon enough."
She keeps reminding me that Ben isn't ready to come home yet. Isn't finished with the work he enlisted to do. That helps fill the hole in my heart a little bit. But not completely.
All of the Tuckers back together.

I love Abby's face in this one. I know how much she's missed having her big brother around these last two years.
Welcome home, Elder Tucker. We've missed you.
And just in case you're wondering . . .

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