"May God hold you in the hollow of His hand."
How many times did she pray with me, holding me close as we'd say goodbye for yet another (long) time apart. I left home in 1969 at the age fifteen to finish high school stateside. Mom and Dad stayed on in Aruba for another eight years. The homecomings were sweet, the leave takings wrenching. All through my high school and college years were the highs of reunion and lows of bidding each other goodbye.
I remember those intimate heart-to-heart moments spent with Mom, those last minutes before we'd pile into the car, laden down with luggage, "passports, tickets, and money" to drive to Princess Beatrix airport in Aruba. With tears blurring our vision, we embraced and allowed the pain of the goodbye flood over us. The months apart loomed around us like a heavy, sad cloud.
Mom and I were both fearful of flying. We both invented scenarios where planes blew into pieces or spiraled out of control while airborne. She worried about letting me go and probably prayed mightily from the time I left her sight until she knew I'd arrived safely. I was scared in my own way about stepping on that plane. She'd try to comfort me with the image of God's powerful hand protecting that silver bird from any and all potential disaster.
"In the hollow of His hand; in the hollow of Hand, you'll fly...."