By Akorede Ajibade
While waiting to welcome my family friends, at the airport, Helen and got to the airport earlier than their time of arrival. I had one of those life changing experiences that you hear other people talk about, this kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred merely two feet away from me.
After long hours of waiting, we were straining to locate my family friend among the passenger’s deplaning through the hall way, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.
At first he signaled to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled slightly shyly, he turned his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!”
Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You are already quite the young man. I love you very much, John!” They too hugged a very loving, tender hug.
While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one and a half) was twisting excitedly in her mother’s arms, not for once did she take her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, static in pure satisfaction.
After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and said; “I have saved the best for last!” and went on to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He stared into her eyes for several seconds and then silently said; “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, grinning big smiles at one another, while holding both hands.
For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they could not possibly be. I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an division’s length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something consecrated, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?
“Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face.
I had to ask again; “Well then, how long have you been away?”
The man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile. . As I just realized , I pock nosed but it was too late. Lol.
“Two whole days!”
Two days? I was stunned. By the strength of the greeting, I had assumed he had been gone for at least several weeks, if not months. I know my expression betrayed me. I said almost casually, hoping to end my interference with some impression of grace (and to get back to searching for my family friends), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”
The man suddenly stopped smiling.
He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, “Don’t hope, friend… decide!” Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, “God bless!”
Here is a great lesson…. Not to just hope for good things or just hope to do things BUT decide, like make it a fixed decision.