We put up a second clock in the kitchen when my son moved to Japan for his Research Fellowship. That way, whenever I was moving about during the day or night, I could think about him, what he was probably doing and how his day was. Along with Tokyo being added to my online weather reports, these were my little connections to him in between phone calls, skype and email.
Now Ethan is on a plane on his way home, we pick him up later today. It will be incredibly happy and sad at the same time to meet him. He was only in Japan for 6 weeks, but really came to love the people and culture, and of course his international frisbee team. He really wanted to stay, but we felt that the dangers were too great, he was unable to do his work, and the living situation in Tokyo is not at the best right now. Japan really needs to be able to focus on their own people and recovery. I KNOW he will return one day, hopefully soon. They have offered to take him back when the situation is stable again, and I would want him to return to complete what he had started.
I will leave the second clock on the wall. To remind me to continue to pray for and think of the people in Japan who welcomed my son into their lives, and took such great care of him, and to remind Ethan that he will go back. Hopefully soon.