And then we had to say "Goodbye"...
I'm not sure that any amount of preparation can prepare a missionary or their family and friends for that moment when you separate at the airport and you know you won't be able to hug again for the next year and a half. It's gut wrenching! (I was very thankful that I had a daughter going and knew that, at least, she would be back six months sooner than the sons that were also there in the airport waiting to get on the same plane to the MTC.) It's weird to feel so excited and so sad at the same time! And watching Dee walk through the security gate and out of my sight... UGH! It was like watching my heart walking outside my chest and away from me. And I knew I was in trouble when, as we were walking back through the airport to go home, I reached in my purse for my phone to send a text message to Dee about something I forgot to ask her sooner. It's gonna be a looooong 18 months! You know, it's really not fair that you spend almost everyday of your life with this child... someone who is literally a part of you... someone you have loved, nurtured, taught, cheered for, worried about, prayed over, laughed with and at, cried with and for, (sometimes wanted to strangle) ... you know them better than anyone... and then all of a sudden you can't even text them ?!? Who's idea was this??? I suppose it's possibly a little like what our Heavenly Father felt when each one of us left His presence to come to earth. And just like I wait anxiously to get a letter or email from my child, so does our Heavenly Father anxiously wait to hear from us. (Wow! Life lessons really are everywhere!)
Here are some pictures of us saying our final farewell, for the next year and a half, to Sister Hall...
|Bags checked and under the weight limit!|
|Waiting until she absolutely HAS TO go.|
|Ok, one more family picture before the teary-eyed goodbyes.|
|And off she goes...|
|This is when it became REAL.|
|I love how she was always reassuring us along the way,|
making this less sad for us all.
|She's up next!|
And that was it. She walked through security and out of sight...
for the next 18 months.