It will be several months before we see our son again. He had made San Francisco his home since college. It took me sometime to understand what attracted him to this bustling city. In fact, after the initial cultural shock we complained.
“I don’t understand. Why San Francisco? ” Shaking our heads in exasperation, we missed our turn again in the tight, busy, steep residential roads.
For one thing, there was not a single day where finding a parking spot became a stress trigger. But, I cannot deny the scenic places we accidentally ended up after the unforeseen one way roads that forced an unplanned visit to the local attraction.
On our last day, our son took us to his favorite place- a lake tucked hidden inside the city. He assured us that we will enjoy the experience.
We rented 2 boats for a family size of 7 people.
We encountered turtles on a dead branch floating on the green-colored water. A mini waterfall on one side of the lake created a rythmic nature sound that reminded our nerves to relax.
Numerous ducks followed our boat, accustomed to being fed by riders. A tunnel brought another visual dimension to the perfect setting for a family bonding adventure.
I looked at my 3 boys on their own boats entertaining themselves yet watching closely to where their Dad will maneuver his boat. I saw them laugh, argue, push each other, keeping an eye on our boat knowing that I will capture this moment in my android.
I grasped tightly at the black strap of the life vest that our 10-year old wore as he ventured to balance himself on the boat. He jumped , he laid down and dipped his arms in the lake. He pointed to the turtle family sitting beside each other on a dead branch.
I pondered on how they stayed close together as they stared back at human families. I could imagine one young turtle pointing at our youngest boy telling his Mommy Turtle, “Look at that boy, he is with his family.”
I zoned back and listened to the father-son talk between the young adult boy and the wise man beside him as they pedaled to move the boat forward while they talked about our lessons learned in the ministry.
My heart ached but was filled with gratitude to our Lord. Money cannot replace peace in family relationships.
Goodbye for now to our son until our Lord provides us the grace again to be together again.
Let us remember to pray for families on the road this summer that each member will be grateful for the graces of laughter, appreciation and togetherness. May the Lord bring unity within. Amen.