It has been a long day, a gift of a day. Early morning, breakfast and chores, and off to the city to collect the oldest son. I miss him and on this Sunday of this Thanksgiving weekend, I’m happy he’s coming home.

We’re late leaving home, late arriving for the worship service. We trail in and find an empty row of chairs, and I smile to see the boy sitting across the room. He looks so … big.

We amen the closing prayer, and stand to hug friends around us, Oscar and Charlene and others, and then the familiar bear hug from the sweet boy, and I cup his chin in my hand, two-week beard and all, and I tiptoe up to kiss his forehead and whisper I missed you in his ear.

My nephew, the one tall and athletic like his dad, is in town playing volleyball, and my sister and her husband are here to watch. We find our way across town to the gym to watch his final game. He’s so good, such a good athlete and such a good boy. And lunch, and more visiting at the home of friends, and then the driving through darkness, back home.

We turn into the yard and I snap a picture. The yard light a star above, and the home lit from within. The light draws me in, welcomes me.

I walk through the front door, children ahead and husband coming behind, and this home comes to life, embracing us.