We are home.
Our house helper (a.k.a. Angel from Heaven) put roses on the table that Andy and Erin Ashley left to us when they returned Stateside this summer. She, our helper, also stocked our fridge with milk and juice and Coke. She knows us well. Our friends (Alisa, John, Anita, Jeremy, and others) kept the warm fuzzies coming, too. Feels good to be home!
But...when you live across the world from your brothers and you have six weeks to spend with them every two years, you make the most of every minute. I knew my brothers' schedules this summer. I found out their future plans. I looked them in the eyes and listened to them. We laughed together. I made them take me out on the fishing lake, just the three of us, and we had a time that I will never forget. I have been back in East Asia for less than a week and I am already ready to give them each a call.
The same is true for my mom, the one who husks corn with her grandsons on a summer's eve. She will never waste a moment that she has with them, not ever.
Absence (of brothers, or of all the time in the world, or of guarantees) indeed makes the heart grow fonder.