ONE OF MY BIG REGRETS is that I moved 800 miles away from the rest of my family.
I’d do it again, of course, because 800 miles away is where I met my wife and where we raised our daughter and son—my two best contributions to this world.
I didn’t have much choice about moving, given my career path: news journalism, followed by Christian writing. While working as a newspaper reporter, I could live close to my family: Dad, Mom, my two brothers and two sisters.
But once I decided to leave the newspaper and write for Christian publishers, I had to go away. First, I had to go to seminary, to get up to speed in Bible and theology. I also had to find a job to pay my way through school.
I found both—seminary and a job in Christian publishing—800 miles from home.
I made the long drive home many times a year during my seminary days. Even if just for a long weekend.
Once I married, we still made the trip at least once a year, usually more. Mom and Dad came out each spring.
My kids got used to the visits. I didn’t realize how much they enjoyed it until they grew up and moved out on their own.
It’s still a spring ritual for my daughter. In college, she got used to going there for spring break. She would invite any of us who were able to go along. Since I’m self-employed by a wonderfully magnanimous boss, I was always available.
We missed the trip this spring, but we’ll make up for it this summer.
Our daughter set the date and invited us to come with her.
The entire “Steve” branch of the Miller family will descend like butterflies on the Homefront 800 miles away: my wife and me, our daughter and her husband, our son and his wife.
All busy people, scheduling as one.
Dad’s off the planet now. But I called Mom to make sure she could handle the crowd.
When I call her every now and again, she tells me how many days are left until we get there.
We’ve not done this before: taking all three households back to my family. My son-in-law has never been there before. And my wife hasn’t be back for several years. Nor my daughter-in-law.
We’re going to be mixing and matching new personalities in relatively close quarters.
Perhaps I should be nervous.
But I just can’t get past being grateful.
Grateful for having a Homefront family that wants us back.
Grateful for having a “Steve” branch of the family that wants to go.
I think that when I lay dying someday, if I have time to think, these are the times I will think about.
“It is truly wonderful when relatives live together in peace” (Psalm 133:1).