Pieces of Me

journey Tossing about in the bed last night, chasing the elusive slumber I so desperately sought, my mind wandered back to the places I have been and people I have seen the past couple of weeks.

Weekend before last, Donya and I flew to Texarkana, Arkansas to spend a couple of days. There is only one reason on earth we would waste a plane ride on Texarkana (or Arkansas, for that matter).

Her name is Holly.

We hadn't seen her in awhile and we missed her terribly.

The trip was short, but it was sweet. For a city girl with a Master's degree and a personality as big as the state the Texas half of Texarkana occupies, the slow-paced, never-changing east Texas landscape is as unlikely a place for her to land as one can imagine.

But God works in mysterious ways...and sends His kids on unexpected adventures. So, there she is.

For now.

And there I am, too. A piece of me resides in that east Texas border town.

Then, this weekend past, it was off to Colorado Springs for the wife and me. Our Army Sergeant son-in-law is stationed there now. More importantly, our oldest daughter and only grandson are stationed there with him.

We knew how badly we missed them, and we knew how much. The four days spent in the Rockies reminded us why we missed them so much. How good it felt to hear our daughter's unmistakable machine gun laughter! How incredibly incredible it was to hear that boy say "DooDah" and "Mimi" with genuine love and affection.

The beauty of the Garden of the Gods, the majesty of Pike's Peak, the serenity and elegance of the Air Force Academy base where they live paled in comparison to the laughter of one little boy.

Ashley and Ty dropped us off at the airport. We smothered the grandboy in kisses and tormented him with one last barrage of tickles. He gripped his Mimi's arm and begged her not to go. Then he cried as they drove away. We wiped a couple of tears ourselves, gathered the bags and boarded the plane for home.

Pieces of me were left behind, in that snow-blanketed pass, high in the Rocky Mountains.

Two hours later, the plane touched down at DFW International Airport. Standing in the drizzle, beneath the gray skies of home, I watched a silver Dodge pickup pull to the curb. Behind the wheel, another piece of me - the one we named Lacey Nicole - welcomed us home.

I am learning as I journey that so much of life is simply about change and adjusting to it and accepting it and learning how to live with it. Resisting it is natural, but mostly futile. Denying it is silly. Ignoring it is unhealthy. Embracing it is difficult. I have taken each of these approaches...sometimes in a single day.

If I could, I would find a comfortable place and stop. I would drive down a stake and take my stand, refusing to put another foot forward. The way is sometimes hard. The path has twists and turns I don't always see coming. It would be so much easier just to freeze yourself in that one place, that one moment when you were the happiest, when all the pieces of your world fit neatly into place. They weren't scattered by the winds of change. Just stay there, in that moment...forever.

But life is a journey, and journey we must.

So, to this moment I have come. The places I have gone and the people I have loved are precious little vials containing pieces of me. But I cannot stay.

The journey continues...