We walked in and looked around. I don’t think they are here yet, he said.

I turned to the hostess. There will be four of us please.

As she brought us to a table for four, we sat nervously. Watching through the large windows as cars drove up, we silently wondered … would they show up?

He grabbed my hand. That’s him.

I gave it a squeeze. Here we go. It will be okay.

They walked in. We stood up. We shook hands, made introductions, and took our seats. Conversation began as though we were catching up with old friends. Much easier than we anticipated, we talked about our jobs, a recent family wedding, hobbies, and so much more.

An hour and a half later, we exchanged phone numbers and hugs and vowed to keep in touch.

As we got in the car he looked at me and said, That was way easier than I expected. Come to think of it, I can’t even remember what happened so many years ago.

Father and son. They had been estranged for five years or so. No phone calls, no emails, no birthday cards or Christmas gifts. No family celebrations or holidays. No invitation to our wedding day. Nothing but silence. A few ill feelings. Lots of wondering about why and what might have been.

But lately, things had been popping up all over the place. Gentle reminders that he was out there somewhere. Small stirring in our hearts to take one of the biggest risks of our lives – reaching out in an attempt to bring healing.

It wasn’t easy. And it didn’t happen over night. But over the course of time, God gave us the strength to make the first move.

Some four months later, healing is still taking place. What once was silence is now filled with frequent emails, phone calls, and family meals shared around the table.

What had been a huge hole in our hearts is now filled with an incredible amount of love and thankfulness. Love for a family we were once afraid of. Thankful for forgiveness and second chances. Grateful for the opportunity to leave the past behind and move forward into a new stage of our relationships. A better stage. A healthier stage.

Not long after that first meeting, he looked at me and said, I’m scared. What if something bad happens?

I replied, Something bad will happen. That’s life. But we’ll pull through it together. And the good will outweigh the bad.

So every day, we embrace the risk. We take the chance. We continue to reach out. Looking forward to family holidays, new births, shared experiences, we place our trust in the One that brings healing. We do our best to love the way He has loved us.

And every day, we feel a little more whole.

the first meeting

by Crystal Rowe time to read: 2 min
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