I'm a huge coffee drinker and can easily down an entire pot by myself, so one year while our family was on vacation in NC my husband bought me my own pot for our room. It stays at his grandparents home all year until we return again the following Spring. Every year I pack up the coffee pot and get nostalgic. It's only a coffee pot but it holds so many memories. It also holds on to the hope that I will see it again next year, along with my many loved ones. It waits patiently in grandma's attic, wondering who will return to the beach house next year and eager to hear the love filled laughter from all the other rooms. But for a year, it hears only silence. My husband's family members have been coming here in the Spring, since he was a baby. His sisters and brother, parents, aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and now our grandchildren too. We all stay together in one house, every year looking forward to "the beach". When we drive away at the end of our stay, tears are always shed. Sometimes an entire year will go by before we see each other again. I recently read a quote that said "Heaven is a little closer in a house by the sea." Heartache has hit us all during these years. We lost our cousin Alan, and then our precious Amy, Mike's youngest sister. We lost parents and grandparents and our hearts wept. And for a moment it seemed like our laughter turned to silence. But we return and along the way God has brought us new loved ones, new spouses, new cousins and sweet grandbabies who are now so precious to us. We laugh and we love, we have hearts bursting with joy, not just because we have each other, but more importantly because of our great Savior. He fills our hearts with laughter when others might have thought that laughter would never return. He fills our hearts with joy because we know that we will see our loved ones again, just like that old coffee pot. We might not see them at "the beach" house but we have a sure confidence that we will see them when we go home to heaven. That home will far surpass the most beautiful ocean front house there is, and the laughter and joy it's halls bring will last an eternity. An eternity with our loved ones. An eternity with Jesus. I will fill my heart with memories as I pack this coffee pot back up in its box and I will forever be thankful to my Father for sending His Son to die for me. Because of His amazing gift, I will close up that box and know in my heart that we will all be together again.