It started this morning with an email.
I knew it was Thursday. Cell group night. But Belinda was barely home from England. It was a lot to expect. "It will start next week," I told myself.
But this morning, there was the email. The subject line said, "Tonight", and the email itself read:
Hi Every one,
I am back from England and have supper prepared for anyone who would like to come for a meal and fellowship tonight. I haven't heard yet whether the new books on Emotionally Healthy Spirituality have arrived, but if so, we will commence the study next week. Meanwhile, I hope to see those who can come, tonight!
Oh joy! Cell group tonight!
Sometimes you don't fully realize how much you miss someone until you suddenly find out you are going to see them again very soon. I fired an email back...
"I am so excited about this being Thursday and you being home and supper being on the table for whoever comes... I feel like I'm coming "home" again, after a very long time..."
I arrived a few minutes later than I'd hoped, but I was in a high state of anticipation all day. I pushed the door open and called out, "I'm home!" Brenda (Belinda's daughter) was in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs, and laughed at my strange greeting. Belinda, who knew exactly what I meant, appeared from somewhere behind her with a huge smile on her face.
Before long Paul was arriving, having driven in to Bradford to pick up Neena. Victoria and Tiffany-Amber appeared already in pyjamas and their hair hanging wet and clean. They had hugs for their Omie, whose eyes sparkled as she hugged them back. My Ron came in too, and we were soon all around the table helping ourselves to thick slabs of fresh bread and steaming bowls of mashed potatoes, homemade stew, and vegetables. Yum!
Paul told jokes, bantered with his grandaughters, and talked politics with Ron. Neena brought photocopies of some nutritional information to share. The girls talked about their day at school, Brenda and I about our favourite highlights from Facebook. Belinda encouraged us to have "more". We all sang Happy Birthday to Victoria (who turned 10 yesterday) and to Tiffany-Amber - who missed having her cake last month and then we all helped to demolish their birthday ice cream cake.
After dinner we lingered at the table over coffee and just enjoyed being together. It felt like it had been a very long time. It was Thursday again, and all was as it should be. It was Thursday and we were exactly where we were supposed to be.
Welcome home, Belinda. Welcome home!