When my two brothers, sister and I graduated from high school and were old enough to stay out without a curfew, there is no telling how many hours of sleep our mother lost waiting for the last of us to come home for the night.

One time, though, I had a chance to repay the smallest of a fraction of what we owe her for all those years of worry and concern.

That came three months before Mother's 80th birthday. She and her cousin Phyllis were on their way home from an Alaskan cruise that was one of the highlights of Mother's lifelong love of travel. Their bus was supposed to arrive in the Walmart parking lot around 11 p.m. Saturday, and Jo Ann and I were going to leave Mother's car there for the weary travelers.

We decided we would pick up Phyllis and Mom, so we waited in our car in the parking lot at the estimated arrival time. More than two hours later, we were still waiting. At about 1:30 a.m., we decided to drive back to get Mother's car and leave it in the lot as we had originally planned.

However, a mile or two away we passed the returning bus and immediately reversed directions to arrive in the lot moments after the bus stopped.

The look of joy on Mother's face when she saw Jo Ann and me waiting for her would have been worth a wait three times as long. It is a great blessing to look at the faces of ones you love after a long journey. There is nothing to worry about; they are with you.

Mother was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor less than a year later and she died a little more than two years after the trip.

If I live the life of faith in God that my parents taught by example, there is a chance that I will get to see Mother and Dad again. Mother is waiting, but the look of joy would be worth the wait.

There would be nothing more to worry about. My loved ones would be with me and, best of all, we would be with God for eternity.

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Love is worth the wait.