Ok, having done the MTC drop-off, I didn't think anything could be worse - boy was I wrong. To me, the airport was WAY worse than the MTC. Although the MTC gave me a sense of peace (I knew he was immediately safe and in good hands), the airport was - well let's just say it was really hard. Maybe it was because we were saying goodbye (or a see ya later) for the second time - knowing what emotions lay ahead. But, for whatever reason, the airport was very difficult for me.
As he got all checked in, I was shaking. It was hard to breath. I couldn't focus. It was weird, because I have heard that sadness and happiness can not take place in our hearts at the same time - I am here to say that they can. At the exact same time. I was overjoyed that he was going back to Seattle, and completely heart broken at the same time. Happy because I knew this was right and that I wouldn't want him to do anything else, and sad because he is my son, and I was going to miss him, terribly.
His whole life, I have teased him for being really independent. For example: his first day in nursery, as I dropped him off he walked right in, turned around, waved and said, "bye Mom" -- not even a moment of hesitation, no tears, nothing. Independent.
So, for the few days before he left, I would say, I need at least a "look back" or something…his reply was usually something like "I can't look back, I only can look forward" or "if I look back I might turn to salt" or some goofy comment like that.
Well, after the hugs, tears and final good-byes he knew it was time he needed to go. It was SO hard…as he walked down the hallway after going through security, as we watched him go, my heart was so full of love and appreciation for Heavenly Father for sending us such an amazing young man. Yet, in the same space, my heart was so full of sadness, watching him walk away knowing I wouldn't be able to see his face, hug him, or hear his voice for a while. I was sad, but totally ok with it…weirdest conflict of feelings ever.
Just as he was about to turn the corner to be completely out of our view, he looked back, gave a smile and a wave…my heart burst…literally burst into a million pieces of love, joy and sadness. That kid - knows exactly what I needed, and what a tender mercy from him (and the Lord), for me.
Then, later that day - we received an email from him…this is what mine said:
Did you notice that I looked back? yeah that was for you! I wasn't sad either, I am glad I have come back. I am glad because its like a fresh start.
I got a really great companion, Elder Kendell. He is a pretty cool dude. I am in Normandy Park which is pretty awesome. I am finally in Seattle! Oh and if you want to send me stuff, send it to the mission office.
10675 Northeast 20th Street BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON 98004-2860 UNITED STATES
I will try and stay as close to the spirit as I can ;)
How great is that! I love this gospel. I love being a missionary family.
From here on out - this blog will be filled with pictures and emails we receive from Elder Barney.
The church is true people - the church is true.
Documented: April 8, 2014