Today was an absolutely incredible day for the Gale family! It started with us praying and hoping all went well for his flight. While we were at swimming lessons early in the morning, my phone rang with a number I didn't recognize. It was Elder Gale! He was on his layover in Atlanta, Georgia, and a sweet lady who was a member of the LDS Church saw him and offered her cell phone to him! Such a small kindness on her part, but it was hugely powerful and exciting for us! She and I even became Facebook friends from it, and have stayed in touch. A new friend from kind, tender mercies!
Then as he was boarding his plane, he ran into Brother Rudy Garcia from our stake! Rudy had a first class seat, and he was so kind and generous and switched seats with Carson so that he could get off the plane first! Carson was in heaven.
On our end of things, we got everything ready at home, picked up Taylor Gibson and made it to the airport about 30 minutes before his flight was scheduled to land. We picked up Grammie at the other terminal and then Paul dropped us off for Delta Airlines and went to park the car. We got to his gate and decided that we would go to the other end of the gate area where we could look through the windows and see him come out of the jet bridge. Then we would be able to follow him through the glass back to the security exit. Josh didn't want to do this, so he stayed near the exit and the rest of us went to watch the door to his gate--the time was about 15 minutes prior to landing. Perfect timing, or so we thought!!
As we were looking through the windows anxiously awaiting his arrival, I heard loud footsteps coming up from behind me. I turned around to find none other than Elder Carson Gale standing right in front of me!!!! I could hardly believe it! I was so excited, but at the same time perplexed as to how he was already off the plane and frustrated that we didn't have his banner out and ready!! After a few seconds of shock, I forgot all those other things and just hugged and hugged my boy!!!! It was amazing.
Obviously his plane had landed about 20-30 minutes early, and since he was sitting in first class, he was the first person off the plane! He came out of security to see no one there!! After a few minutes of looking around, he noticed a long haired, tall dude who looked similar to his little brother Josh! Sure enough, it was him, and luckily Carson didn't have to come off the plane to no one waiting for him! Josh brought him down to where we were to surprise all of us--and what a surprise it was!
After about 10 minutes Paul showed up from parking the car, thinking he would be in time for the big arrival. Imagine his surprise at seeing Elder Gale already among us! Hugs, laughs, tears, pictures, stories, and smiles a plenty happened for a quite a while! Then we drove him home to begin our day of a family dinner (First meal? Fettuccine Alfredo, salad, and homemade breadsticks, of course!), him getting released, and enjoying every single minute of being with him again.
What a magical day!!
|My boy is home....|
|I can't stop hugging him!!|
|5 of the 6 together again--missing Austin desperately!!|
|BFF's reunited once again!!!|
|Showing us his day planner.|
|These are some well-loved and worn shoes!!|
|The worn luggage...|
|A few more hours with the name tag!|
|He loved the carpet after not feeling it for 2 years!|
|His first meal...fettuccine and breadsticks, of course!!|
GOODBYE ELDER GALE, HELLO CARSON!
|President Call released him--no more name tag!|
THE OPEN HOUSE!
|Telling the stories!|
|The Jensen's came from Wichita!|
|Big Josh and Little Josh Jones!|
|So many great friends came to support him!|
|Ship & Austin--1 more year until their reunion!!|
|Carson's first time to the temple in 2 years! We did baptisms first, then a session. It was wonderful!|