Wednesday, August 20, 2014

a missionary

The day that you've long anticipated has finally come. Days, months, and years of preparation and hard work all coming down to this moment. 

And I sit here trying to feel, process, and express it all. 

This mother-heart aching. A warm lump in my throat. Tears welling each time I start thinking of you. A dull, hollow, longing pang in my chest. Utter and complete exhaustion-- both the physical and the emotional -- that's come with these stress-filled months of comings and goings and shopping and forms to fill out and doctor appointments and packing. (A total miracle we got everything to fit and the to-do lists all crossed off.) Leaving at 2:30 am in the pouring rain this morning (all of us filling two cars) to get to the airport in time for your early morning flight.  

But even in all the difficulty and stress, there have been so many moments of joy. The gift of being totally focused on you and your needs. The precious time we've spent together...

Having dinner all together as a family last night. Fixing your requested jambalaya for our last meal together. (The joy I felt in watching you enjoying that so much.) Seeing the devotion, love, and support of your friends. (You are adored by so many, Samuel.)  Your coming up to my bedroom late the other night, sharing and shedding all those tender tears. 

All these things-- the difficult and the painful, the beautiful and the joyful-- this is what it means to love.

Sam, I will miss you so very much.

Not being able to receive your tight, tight hugs. You are the best hugger I know.

Missing your humor in our family. You are the one who gets us laughing. You have a gift that way. You have filled this need in my life that has been so essential to my personal happiness and joy.

Not being able to receive a random text from you. And me not texting "I'm here." to you anymore.

For those times you've asked for a massage when your back or head aches, or just plopping your body down next to mine on the couch, needing my touch. This has brought healing and a special bonding to both of us.

It's hard to believe, but I really am going to miss tortilla chip crumbs all over the counter. Taking in your cereal spoon and bowl you left in the car on the way to school or work. Picking up your dirty socks under the couch. Those physical reminders that you are my big, strong boy.

Our Costa Vida lunch dates.

Watching you play basketball. Being inspired by your intensity, your drive, and your never- giving- up- attitude. 

Not being able to have your wonderful, devoted friends in our home and around our dinner table.

And oh, how I'll miss your smile. 

As you will not be in our home for the next two years, not under my own close, daily watch care, please know and always remember that I will be with you. It's not really a goodbye, Sam! My heart will be with your heart. My spirit will be with your spirit. This will never change, even as I now turn and trust you over to God. 

I'm so happy for you, Sam. For this opportunity you've been given to grow, to serve and love others, and to understand more deeply about yourself and God. You are leaving a boy, and will come home a man. You will never know how much your sacrifice, your determination, your hard work, and your commitment to God means to me. 

You are loved. You are supported. You are good. You will be dearly missed.

Until the day when we will again hold and hug each other so tightly...

Your Mom xoxo


  1. Shedding happy tears for you, Emily.

  2. Oh Emily, you write so beautifully and with such visceral emotions. What a love letter to your son. I'm in tears here. What a loving person you are, a terrific Mom. I learn so much from you and I'm grateful for that.