Friday, January 3, 2014

Currently sitting at O'Hare International Airport.  My flight takes off in just about two hours.  It's been a VERY full last month... but a good one! So many sweet times of connecting with friends and family.  It's crazy to think that in just about 9 days, I will be heading back home to Uganda.  It's been a whirlwind.  I landed into Fort Wayne... stayed there about 10 days and then hopped in a car and headed to the western suburbs of Chicago.  Following my time there, I hopped a plane and headed south to Florida and visited with my parents, grams, and their friends.  Was even able to sneak in a little road trip to northern Florida where I met up with a high school friend.  Then it was off to Portland, Oregon to see my siblings.  A few days before I left Florida, I received word that my little buddy, Frank was very sick with malaria.  For those of you who have been following me on the blog, this little guy was born in March. When he was born, he was barely breathing.  And together, his parents and I, along with others, watched God sustain him.  He recovered fully and up until right before Christmas was an energetic little guy.  Ate lunch with his parents and him two days before I left.  And I assumed quite safely that I would see him again.  I have to confess that even with the knowledge that he was really sick with malaria, I assumed I would see him again.  I assumed he would recover.   And yet, as I was heading to the airport, I knew in my spirit that little Frank was dying.  I can't explain it other than I just believe that God gave me a heads up.  When I arrived at my gate and opened my computer and was greeted by multiple messages telling me that Frank had just died,  the tears came so strongly.  I craved home in Uganda and I craved connecting with his parents... all who knew this precious life.  I found myself mourning in a way that I don't think I had ever done before.  I just couldn't believe that he was really gone.  From a treatable disease.  And yet, despite the tears, despite a sadness that panted the depth of my heart.... there was a peace.  I wish I had fancy words to explain it... to put it into words... but there aren't.  It was just there.  God was just there with me.   On Sunday, I was able to call and talk with his sweet momma Rebecca and his daddy Ronald.  There was a lot of silence and a lot of being.... and really, I just can't wait to go and be with them.  To bring them the outfit I bought their baby boy and to show them the pictures that I had ordered for them.  Frank will not be forgotten.  Nope... I was his sanga (his auntie) and he was my little buddy.  And I don't understand why God brought him home so soon.  I won't lie... in my humble opinion (or maybe not so humble opinion), he went home to soon.  But this is where the plastic hits the road... this is where, by only HIS grace, I rest in knowing that God is good.  He knows what He is doing... even when we don't.  And so I leave you with some pictures... first of baby Frank... and then of some of the many people I have seen in the last month.  Thanks for journeying!

sweet Frank and his mom just days old recovering in the hospital. 

A priceless family portrait.  

The little guy I held so many mornings during training.... 
A recent family shot.

Frank, you will be missed.  I won't say rest peacefully sweet child... because you are undoubtably running around heaven FREE and HEALTHY! Love you sweet boy!

A great morning with many of my siblings! (minus 3)
Mikey P--ps and me! 
Bling Bling sis in law, Keri, sweet sis sarah, and Mikey P--ps! 

Caroline and Kimmy posing like days long gone
OH Kathleen.. my true Drama sister.  Oh the memories we have had over the years! SO great to see you girl.... 11 hours of driving for mmmm... maybe 5 hours of actual hang out time! so worth it! 

Allie, a dear friend since junior high! Such a gift!!! And so great to hang out!!! love you girl!

Dear friends from HCA! Love you ladies and so thankful that after all these years, we are still friends!

And there have been so many more people that I have been able to connect with, process with, listen to, laugh with, and simply be.... such a gift! SUCH a gift!

And I am off to my gate.... hopefully, my flight will be on time.  Snow is EVERYWHERE here in Chicago.....

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