Fun Tears

This is a repost from 5 years ago this month:

GraceAnna was in the States for a few months while Grant was on the ship. Last Thursday, Carl and I took her to the airport for an early morning flight back to Japan. It's hard for me to believe my little girl flies around the world now - by herself - in and out of airports in unfamiliar countries and being around so many unfamiliar people. When she was in high school, she went on mission trips with our church so she has experience with international travel - but it's not the same as the kind of traveling she is doing now.

We said that same teary goodbye - the one I always do when I must hug my children bye. With my boys, I try to walk away quickly. With GraceAnna, since we're both glassy-eyed, I linger a bit. Knowing that she would soon be back with Grant on the other side of the world and also knowing that God already has them stationed in Beaufort beginning this summer made it fun tears. We were laughing while the tears were dropping. How silly we are.

Thinking about so many changes that go with being a parent sometimes overwhelm me. Anyway, on Sunday morning - way early - I heard my phone buzz on the nightstand. I checked it and this is what I read - all the way from Japan. And no, it wasn't from GraceAnna:

"Cool story for you. We are sitting in the middle of the Mall at the Kadena Airforce BX (It's the military version of a mall) and this young man and beautiful young lady in a peach colored dress walks by us. My son yells out, 'Dad! Mom! That was Pastor Broggi's daughter - - Remember his teenage daughter?"'(BIG SMILE for me).

 "My daughter chimes in, 'Yes Mama that is really her - - I am sure.' I am like, okay guys, let's run and catch her. I don't think she'll mind that two little ones remember her and are yelling for her in JAPAN. We are running behind this couple and I am telling my son who is waaaaaaay ahead me, 'Scream out her name, so she'll stop.'

 "He says very politely, 'Momma, I can't call out her first name - she is an ADULT now - it's GraceAnna, Momma, don't you remember her name?'

 "So, I yell out 'GraceAnna Broggi' and sure enough, this beautiful lady stops in her tracks and it was her: GraceAnna Broggi Castleberry. She turns and does her big Audrey Broggi smile, while I huffed and puffed.

I am so tired from the middle-aged trot that I tell her that our kids are her kids. Very politely, she smiled and asked the kids, 'So where are your parents and what are their names?'  She was full of Grace and charm ... Wow, that is all I can recall. She is so pretty, Mrs. Audrey.

 We chatted about Beautiful Beaufort with the Castleberry family. It was nice to see a smiling face from Beaufort today. We discussed my son being baptized in the River there. It was really a nice Sunday chat.

 Seeing your daughter was really uplifting for us. We've been here in Japan for just over 2 weeks.

 It was a nice treat to see GraceAnna at the end of the day. I got a big ole Beaufort hug from her. A day that started poorly has ended very well for us. 'Them Broggis' are just a family that keeps on blessing. What a wonderful memory for our children today."

Then sometime later, I received an email from GraceAnna telling me about the same encounter. She added that the son sent her this message:

"Mrs. Castleberry,

 It was nice to see you and meet Mr. Castleberry at the mall in Japan today. Running in the mall with my sister and mom was really fun and we all enjoyed running indoors. Our day started really rough, it just didn't go as planned and my mother is a scheduled person. I believe the chance encounter with your family made our day a lot better. Tell Dr. Broggi that I am going to Greece, Italy and France this summer as a Student Ambassador. I remember his teachings, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel." I am trying my best to Reach Teach and Unleash the word of God."

Sometimes we cry sad, painful tears and believe me, I've had my share of those. But sometimes we cry exciting, fun tears and somehow when those fall, your eyes don't even get puffy.

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