before i begin, in the spring my dad had suffered a severe bicycling accident that would require major surgeries and rehabilitation. it put strain on the planning of their visit to our house here. he would be required to miss a lot of work. thankfully, he had put in the vacation spots for the days they were here at the beginning of the year so the trip wasn't effected by the need for many days off of work. however, due to his weeks of needed rest and rehabilitation he was forced to use vacation days and sick leave while not working. this meant that he had to take a short, unpaid leave while on vacation here in belgium. not cool.
still, it was cheaper for them to fly here, even while taking unpaid leave, then for my whole family (2 adults, 2 kids, and infant) to dallas. weird, i know. i wish flying was cheaper, as do most people who fly i am sure.
this was a huge trip for my dad. he had never been out of the united states. this required him to get a passport for the first time in his life. over 50 years without needing a passport! maybe that is not as big of a deal as i think it is but it sure seems amazing considering how much people move around these days.
there was so much anticipation. if you follow me on twitter, then you could attest to the many tweets concerning numbers and countdowns, we were so excited for them to be here. we had it all planned out, going to give them the belgian experience of the trains and food. the morning of their arrival we left the house around 7:30 on the train to go get them. we got to the airport and then it started to rain as we were headed home on the train. as soon as we got to the rhode train station i ran to my house to get the car. need less to say, it was not a great welcome to belgium experience. mom and dad were very tired and dad was hurting a little from soreness in his body due to the bicycling accident.
over the next two weeks we had so much fun. we visited our key spots, went downtown, visited the seaside, rode numerous trains, played in the parks, experienced el grecco, and had wonderful chats about life and things that are changing in the dallas area. i was so grateful for their presence in our house. for my dad it was also his first time to be able to hold and play with finn, our youngest.
liz and i got to celebrate our anniversary (month later) in amsterdam...WITHOUT KIDS!!! i was so excited to travel with my bride to amsterdam and get a wonderful 2 days with her all to myself.
next to the last night i had such a major breakdown. going down to my parents room i told them everything i felt. at times in my life over here i feel like i am hurting them because they are denied the times to be had with grand children; especially if you know my mom who loves them so much. i hate that. i told them i was sorry and really do wish it was different. my mom and dad both are confident i am doing what the lord is calling me to do over here in belgium. that is so pleasing to know and comforting.
i look forward to our next adventure together. hopefully they can make traveling to belgium an annual experience.
love you mom and dad.