Houston, Texas, will always have a special place in my heart.  It’s where my parents lived after they got married, where my brothers and I were born, where I was baptized when I became a Christian, and where a large part of the Douthit family lived or still live.

Leon and I are headed to Houston this weekend for a quick but meaningful trip.  It might seem insane to leave the D.C. temperatures, currently hovering in the mid to high 90’s, for the warmer Texas temperatures and the balmy humidity of Houston.  I remember as a child how stifling the Houston humidity was, that when you walked outside in the summer months it felt like you were breathing hot steam.  My mother used to make sure that damp towels were hung up to dry, because if they were thrown and left forgotten on the bathroom floor they would mildew.

We are heading to Houston to spend time with my Granddad Douthit and to commemorate the one year anniversary of the passing of my grandmother, Mammaw Douthit.  It seems like yesterday that the Douthit clan all gathered, exactly one year ago, to celebrate her life and legacy. I remember standing in the funeral home for the viewing, talking with family members and with Korean friends who came (after they had served as missionaries in South Korea, my grandmother stayed highly involved with Korean families at the church, teaching English and helping them adjust to life in the U.S.).  My grandfather stood at the front while we all prepared for the funeral directors to lower the top of the casket, and he prayed the most beautiful prayer, in the most sincere voice, that I will never forget:  “Lord, thank you for my wife. Thank you for giving her to me for almost 60 years.”  (Mammaw had passed away two weeks shy of their 60th wedding anniversary).

Going back to Houston always brings back plenty of memories–from my childhood (we moved away from Houston when I was seven), from Christmases and summer visits with my grandparents, and from the weddings of Baylor friends from Houston.  This visit will be especially emotional and meaningful, as it will take place during a significant anniversary of a woman who greatly impacted the lives of her family members and beyond.  I’m sure we will eat Mexican food, as we always do, talk about how everyone is doing, as we always do, and so forth.

There will be a void this time, however, and I’m bracing myself for that.  But what better way to spend the weekend than to tear yourself away from the hectic pace of the daily grind, touch base with family, and be reminded of the important things in life, namely, faith and loved ones.

Houston, here we come.  It will be good to be back.