After that, we all sat around the table talking, laughing and singing. The boys performed several songs at my request from the movie, "One Smooth Stone". We laughed and laughed and I promised them that these videos would be treasures to them one day. The boys headed to bed and C and I got on the computer to watch a couple videos that he was supposed watch before entering the MTC. At around 1:15 AM, C went to bed. I promised him that I would wake him up at 5:30. He finally admitted that he was nervous and that he was feeling sad at this point knowing that he was leaving everyone. We hugged and then we went to bed. I stayed up writing him a letter to hand him just before he got on the airplane.
While I was writing the letter, D called me in saying that S was throwing up. It lasted all night. We were bathing, washing, scrubbing, changing, repeat, all night. My prayer was all over the place. I kept catching myself thinking of C growing up and then would have to get back to my prayer. I prayed off and on all night.
The alarm clock went off and D and I decided that only the boys and I would take C to the airport. He would remain home with the girls. I went down to wake C up. He was sad, tired and not feeling well. I had to tell him that D and the girls wouldn't be going to the airport. He did okay. There wasn't time to sit around and think about it. We were leaving in 20 minutes.
We got the boys up and they came downstairs. C asked D to give him a blessing of comfort. C ran upstairs to tell the girls goodbye. He didn't get to tell S goodbye, since she was so sick and finally asleep. B wouldn't get up and hug him so it was hard.
We got his luggage in the back of the car and we were off. I held C's hand as we drove to the airport. What a tender moment. Once we arrived at the check in counter at the airport, I saw another woman walking over to me followed by a young man in a suit with two suitcases. I quickly asked her if he were a missionary. She said, "yes". They were on the same flight up and were going to be on the same shuttle from SLC down to the MTC. My mind was eased immediately.
I asked the lady at the counter if we could all escort C to the gate since we wouldn't be seeing him for two years. She agreed. We walked back with C and met up with the other young man's family. It really lightened the mood.
Once we got to the gate we had a seat for about half an hour. We talked and laughed. I saw my son talk to a total stranger easily. My how he has grown up. Then it was time to say goodbye. Each of the boys took a turn hugging him goodbye. C was so cute, holding them and talking to them as their older brother. He told them to stay worthy, to mind mom and dad, and that he loved them.
Then it was my turn. We hugged and held each other. I told him some things and then said that I loved him. We walked them down to the door and waved goodbye. I was fine those last few seconds when his back was away from me. But then he turned around, saw me and cried as he walked away.
I cried as I walked through the terminal at the airport. It was hard thinking that I wouldn't have that hug for two years. It was a quiet ride home.
Upon arriving home, D told me that B had been throwing up. I guess it was a distraction having to deal with cleaning up puke and the runs off sheets, towels, clothes and carpets all day. I began feeling yucky around noon and stayed in bed the entire day after that.
Just as I was getting in bed around noon, I called the boys up. They raced up the stairs and I told them that C was walking into the MTC any minute. Then I handed them letters that he had written each of them. They were excited to get them and wondered how I got them. I told them that he had written them on Christmas Eve and they were to be opened the day that he left.
I read each of the letters. I kept saying, "Oh C". He had made a point to personalize every letter. They were beautiful. Truly. They will be cherished.
The boys have said that they don't know if they can do this for two years. Meaning, not have C here. They are sad that he is gone. They can't believe that he is gone. I can't either. I let them say how they feel and we usually agree. Then we talk about how it will be good and that we will hear from him and we can keep in touch.
I can't count how many times I prayed for C today. Praying that he felt okay today. Praying that he won't be homesick. Praying that he'll be comfortable and learn what he needs to learn. Praying that he won't become discouraged. Praying that he will know that Heavenly Father is always there now that I am not.
I love you C. I will miss you. Can't wait for that first letter.
My son is now a missionary. I guess that makes me a " missionary mom".