"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Monday, July 26, 2010

Travel Day

Bronwyn's last day in POA was honestly like most other days. No one was moping around and crying and being sad. I liked that.

We weren't ignoring the topic and not talking about Bronwyn leaving. In fact, we talked about it every day and talked about it on the day she left. We talked about every aspect of her moving to Texas.

It's just that we all know that the next, natural step for her is doing what she is doing. We weren't weepy on that day.

Sad to not have Bronwyn around every day? Of course. Sure we'd love to have her stay here and go to college in our city and stay close to us but we know she's following the Spirit's leading for her life. And that is all that we ever want for our kids. We couldn't be more proud of her and excited for her and because of that there were no buckets of tears at her leaving.

It also helps that she chose a university to go to where we have strong family ties. We've already received emails from people in her city and in other close-by cities telling us how excited they are to take care of Bronwyn.

God's family is pretty cool isn't it?

Back to the travel day. You'll understand better about it being a fairly normal day.

Ansley and Anderson woke up and made jelly filled (apple, strawberry, blackberry and raspberry) muffins for our breakfast.  Ansley asked me to not show this picture with her in it because she didn't like the way she looked. The ghostlike presence is where she used to be.

While they cooked, Giovanni parked it close to them and ate (with spoon and fingers) some yogurt. But he still had time to pose for a picture.

I'm pretty sure we all gained a couple of pounds because of those muffins.

My girlfriend, Ansley, Carys and I then had to go to Ansley's school to finalize plans for her school trip to Peru.  We ended up spending close to an hour at the school and didn't get anything done (not uncommon in Brasil).

We then went to the mall to get some lunch to bring home.

Bronwyn's flight left at 6:00 p.m. The check in process here is a little different than in the states. You don't have to get to the airport 4 hours early to go through security.

That's why around 4:00 p.m. I took the following pictures:

Carys and Anderson watching a movie on Ansley's Ipod. (notice the time on the clock)

Garrett was playing Nintendo while watching some DVD episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond.

Giovanni was taking a long overdue nap.

And Ansley was busy plucking Bronwyn and my girlfriend's eyebrows as well as painting Bronwyn's toe and fingernails.

Like I said, we weren't moping around and weepy. I actually laughed as I was loading up Bronwyn's bags at how laid back everyone, Bronwyn included, was. Moping around crying, I think, would have made Bronwyn pretty miserable and, honestly, it's just not our way.

Anyway, we headed off to the airport.

We left our house at 4:15. By 4:55 Bronwyn was all checked in and ready to board the plane. Not at all like the states.

When we got there we were met by some of Bronwyn's best friends.

It was only after seeing these guys that Bronwyn began to cry.

When I say we aren't weepy, it doesn't mean we don't get emotional and we are super stoic about everything. We aren't. I've seen everyone in our house cry about something. I've seen my girlfriend, Bronwyn and Anderson cry while watching a movie, reading a book or having a conversation.  We don't shy away from our emotions.

Bronwyn didn't cry until she saw her friends. Then it was tough for her to stop.

From left to right it's Ana, Giu, Julia and Fred.

Then Giu and Julia started crying.

One of the things I like about Bronwyn is that she can laugh while she cries. She never gets embarrassed about crying. She just lets it out. Sometimes we make fun of her when she cries (during a sappy movie) and she just laughs at herself and keeps crying. I like that.
Our group then got in a circle and our sister Leni said a prayer for Bronwyn. It was perfect.

Bronwyn then started saying her goodbyes.

As she was telling others bye, Garrett came up to me with a red face. He said, "I feel like I want to cry." I told him to let it out and don't worry about it. He put his head in my girlfriends's shoulder and teared up just a little bit.

I passed by a stone faced Carys. I asked her if she was trying not to cry. She said yes. I told her to go ahead and don't hold it in. Next thing I knew I was then holding my 11 year old like a small child as she cried in my shoulder.

Neither kid just broke down crying or cried for longer than a minute or two but they both just quietly cried as Bronwyn got into the security line.

We have a tight family. It was tough for all of us to say goodbye. Maybe tougher for Carys and Garrett because they won't get to see her again until December. My girlfriend, Ansley and Giovanni will be seeing her in a couple of weeks as they go to the states to take her to college. Amazingly Anderson (our super emotional child) didn't cry.

As she worked her way through the security line Bronwyn continued to cry.

Leave it to Giu (we call him our son and he calls me and my girlfriend mom and dad) to lighten the mood. He is super funny.

He started to call out to Bronwyn to not forget their love. To not betray him. To not forget him. He told her he would take care of their child until she got back. All kinds of goofy stuff that even had the security guard and another passenger behind Bronwyn laughing and getting into the conversation while Bronwyn was looking at Giu and saying, "Be quiet." Bronwyn's comments only made Giu yell louder. He did it, non stop, for five straight minutes.

Here's the guard laughing while Bronwyn tries to explain to the guy behind her that Giu is crazy.

It was exactly what Bronwyn needed as she got onto the plane.

After she left I began to think about Bronwyn's time in Brasil and who she has become in Christ and what she has done to grow His kingdom here on earth.

She was 11 when we moved here. She has seen the best and worst of being a "missionary." She's heard me say things and has seen me act in not very Christlike ways. In spite of all of that her faith has grown.

Her best friends are Brasilians. She gets "being church" instead of "playing church." She is a huge part of this ministry here. I actually have a weekly bible study with one of her friends. Because of Bronwyn.

We miss her but she's planted so many seeds here for the kingdom and we know that she will continue doing so in Texas and for the rest of her life wherever God takes her.

And that is all a Christian parent could hope for isn't it?

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