Monday, December 16, 2013

Elder Loveland is HOME!!

Yesterday had to be one of the best days of my entire life.  It's hard to even put it into words actually. Heaven on earth possibly.

The kids helped me make signs for the airport for when C arrived.  We had our neighbors Gail and Clay, my parents and D's parents there with us to welcome him home.  I.  Could.  Not.  Wait!!  Every time a new set of people came down the escalators I ran to ask them where they were arriving from so that we could be ready holding our signs.  And, so that I could hold me son again.  :)

While waiting at the bottom of the middle escalators my mom said, "I see C."  I responded, "You do not!",because he was clearly not right in front of me.  "Yes, yes I do.  I see C", my mom said again.  And then frantically looking around, I said, "Shut up.  Where?"

And then I saw him.  And I couldn't get to him fast enough hobbling and all.  I was already crying, holding my arms out, and calling for him.  Just as I was about to put my arms around my son now man, I looked at him one last time and really asked myself if it truly was my son I was about to hug.  And then I gave the biggest hug I've ever given in my life.  I held on to my boy and he continued to smile and say, "I love you Mom."  I hugged him, pulled back so that I could look at his cute face, and hugged him some more. Thoughts raced through my head at what a glorious reunion this was.  I couldn't imagine anything sweeter.  I thought of some of my girlfriends that have lost their sons in the last few years and imagined them reuniting with their sons some day.  I was so excited for them right then.

After I got to welcome back my handsome son, we walked hand in hand back to the others so that they could welcome him back.   It was awesome.

 I stood there watching him greet everyone and the confidence that he had.  My son had grown up.  I just wanted to freeze time.

As he went around welcoming everyone my neighbor Gail went in to hug him.  In his Spanish he spurted out something to the fact that he couldn't hug her since she was a female.  She looked confused and hurt wondering why Clay got a hug and not her.  I could tell by C's reaction what he was trying to say to her and I quickly explained the rule that until he was released he couldn't hug her.

After the airport we went to Smashburger to get C a big juicy burger at his request.  When we got home we had a few hours until his release time.  We walked through our home where C recognized all the changes I had made the last two years.  The boys had fun showing him their rooms.  They played ping pong with him and little g was counting down the hours until C wasn't a missionary because of all the restrictions.  C pointed out that it was a blessing to be a missionary.  :)  C showed me his backpack that he had mended himself.  It made me so happy.

C called A to say hello since he is still at college for another week.  It was fun hearing my boys talk again and know that they'll see each other soon and then be off to school together.

7:00 came and we were at President Gates' home ready to see C be released as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The Stake President Spoke to him and gave him some instruction and then had him sit in the chair.  As I heard the words of our stake president while releasing C, I couldn't help but open my eyes and watch my son.  He was crying.  Just a few hours earlier he had told D that he doesn't cry anymore.  But there he was, sobbing knowing that he would no longer be a missionary.  That the life that he had come to know and love would be over.  I cried as I watched my son cry, knowing that he had truly loved being a missionary.  When the prayer was over, C asked him if he needed to take his name tag off.  You could tell he didn't want to.  President Gates told him that he could keep it on as long as he wanted as he smiled at C.  I'm sure he has seen that with most missionaries.

Afterwards, we went to Panda Express, grabbed dinner for everyone and headed home.  One of my friends had bought us Martinelli's to celebrate C's arrival.  It was fun celebrating with him home at our own kitchen table.  He was home now.

When we had family prayer last night I peeked over to see C's shoes.  I had heard about other missionaries shoes and how worn they had gotten and how it represented their hard work.  There my son's shoes were, holes in the bottom, falling apart, and perfect.  Going to bed so grateful tonight that Elder Loveland is home.

1 comment:

Caitlin Williams said...

I never told you, Congratulations!!

As I sat here reading your post, I cried. I cried tears of happiness, tears of sadness, and just plain ol' tears. Being a missionary was the best thing ever. I'm so grateful for your observations of your missionary; true indications that he was a faithful missionary. You will cherish those. I know I certainly do.