I have been posting on my missionary Alex a lot in the past almost 3 weeks, but not as much on my own, nothing on how I feel about all this mission thing! So now that it is a beautiful AZ day and I have half the neighborhood playing in the backyard, I'm going to take a minute to reflect on ME!
Saying goodbye to my oldest son was by all means the hardest thing I have ever done. I have left my own parents at about the same age and it was extremely hard. I left all my friends and my country, and not for 2 years, but forever. However, it is easier to leave than to let one go, I can guarantee that. The last days with my favorite perfect teenage/adult son was so strange. He was very mellow, scared and excited, fearing the big goodbyes as much as us. I just left him alone, didn't bug him about his shoes or hat that needed to be picked up, and that I ultimately had to pick up later myself anyway. We cried quite a bit, we hugged also and his heart broke a little bit more with every person that came to say goodbye, mine did too, but I hid in my room. He was set apart as an Elder that evening, he had to have his dad go to the bathroom at the church, having a companion with him all the time. He also turned off his phone. No more texting. We played games of charades, some more friends came to say goodbye, then we went to bed, one last time with our 5 children under the same roof.
The big day came, we said goodbye at the airport, we hugged twice and I told him to go. He said "you keep telling me to go, but you keep hugging me". There is a picture of us hugging and he is smiling, because I just told him that when he hugs me so tight, my ear gets squished on his cheek and I can't hear anything. Then he went, all by himself, like an adult, looking all grown up, looking like he was ready to go serve the Lord for 2 long years. My heart broke in a million pieces, and I am of course still crying as I write this, but I must write it now, or I'll forget the emotions of it. We waited for his plane to leave, just in case. We drove home, it was so quiet in the car. We had gotten up early and the kids were quiet. I cried. Reed's heart cried, men don't cry with their eyes as much as women, but his heart was as broken as mine. I had said I would cry all day on the Wednesday January 2nd, and I did, I really did. All of us had a hard time. We only knew that he had landed, that's all. Then, the next day was magically better. Our heart was still heavy, but nothing like that first day. Life goes on, he is doing a good thing and is happy.
So now, after 3 weeks, 2 Pdays of emails and letters, I can honestly say that it is good. It is hard, of course, you don't raise a child for 19 years and then send him off without looking back. But he is in the best hands possible, tucked in at the MTC where nothing can really happen to him. He is my perfect child right now, nothing he does is wrong, I don't see his room, his grades, his hair or whatever else I would have been sure to disapprove of at one time or another. I only know how proud I am, how excited I am for his future. I love everything about this boy, he is the Inman superhero here, the one on a pedestal, right where he should be as a servant of our Lord. I said that I would forget the emotions of it all if I didn't write it soon, and I mean it. I think time will erase the pain of it all and I KNOW that the blessings of having a son on a mission will be the balm of Gilead that gets applied with every prayer on ours and his behalf.
The last two days have been incredibly hard, much harder than expected, even the dog was crying this morning, he never does and didn't even like Alex! I'm not going to put pictures of us crying on this blog, but they are on Elder Inman's blog Have your Kleenexes out, especially if you have a son! Much better today, although I am dying to hear from him. I sure hope he breaks the rules and writes me a note in the mail, I'll forfeit one blessing just to get a broken rule "writing only on P-day"! But I know Alex, he won't...and so I sit, checking my email every hour or so, in hope of an email....ughhhhhhhh