October 21, 2013

Grandma & Grandpa in Italy!

Once again I'm behind in blogging, but this time I have a reason that's different from the usual "I've been busy with 7 kids" excuse: my parents arrived on October 3 for a three-week visit!  We weren't sure we would get my dad on an airplane to come visit us during our tour here in Naples, and the joke now is that it takes us having a new grandbaby to make that happen!

December 29, 2012, was Mom and Dad's 40th anniversary.  Mom's twin sister, Iola, cooked up a scheme to send notes out to friends and family ahead of time to collect cards and donations toward a trip to Italy for their anniversary gift. Between that and the news of our pregnancy earlier this year, Mom and Dad agreed to begin planning an international trip--a big deal for them both, as neither had been overseas for decades!  (Dad served in Berlin with the army in the late 60s, and Mom served as a missionary nurse in UAE for a year.)

So, a neat story/testimony about all of this...my dad has not flown on an airplane since 1971.  No matter where we have been stationed, he has always driven to see us.  While he enjoys road trips and prefers to see the countryside, part of the reason for his not hopping on a plane has been a longtime anxiety of flying.  Knowing this, my wonderful husband began praying early on during the trip preparations that God would give Dad peace about the journey.  (Meanwhile, I'm almost ashamed to admit, I recommended that Dad ask his doctor for some medication if he thought it would help.)

Fast forward to October 3, 2013, when a joyous reunion took place in our driveway.  (Ted took our small car to pick up Mom and Dad from the airport so he wouldn't have to maneuver the Suburban in the parking garage.)  The kids had made signs for the gate and were eagerly dancing around the driveway, waiting to see Grandma and Grandpa, having said goodbye to them about 15 months before.  Once the welcoming flurry had died down a bit, Dad pulled me aside and showed me a little bottle of medication prescribed by his doctor.  The doc had given him 8 pills, and Dad dumped out the contents onto his hand to show me...8 pills.  He hadn't taken any of them!  He said once he got into his seat on the airplane, he asked himself, Do I trust God, or not??  And he chose right then to completely trust God with the journey.  What a great testimony!  I'm so thankful I have a husband who faithfully prayed over his father-in-law--both the kids AND the wife now have a concrete example of God's faithfulness in answering prayers!

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