I believe all missionary moms go through the same thing but I haven’t felt this before. It was my first experience as a mom to have my baby leave. I was probably in denial from day one. I knew she was graduating from High School and she was going somewhere after the school was over. When she decided to serve a mission, I knew she did the best decision of her life. She will be learning so much. As a returned missionary, I knew exactly what she was going to experience and I was so happy for her. Both my husband and I knew it was the best thing for her life.
The preparation brought our family together and we felt the spirit stronger as we did everything in our family relate to missionary work. Family night was all about missionary work. Scripture study was was focus on missionary work. We invited the missionaries as many times as possible to bring the missionary mood to our house. We felt we were ready to send her out.
The summer was long and we did as many fun things as possible, so she could have the best memories of her family before she head to the field. We did all her missionary shopping. We got her blog going. Got missionary albums done. We went to temple as many time as possible this summer. We worked in our genealogy and learned a lot with Rafa’s Grandparents and Great Grandparents.
I felt I did everything possible as a mom to help her be ready for this special time in her life. And I felt I was ready to send her out. Then the day arrive and It was time to take her to the airport. I woke up in the morning and she had her beautiful flower dress on; her grandmother made for her this summer so she could use on a mission. Her luggage were ready to go. Grandpa loaded up in the back of the truck. I got ready and got the kids in the car. She said her goodbyes to grandpa and grandma. She also said goodbyes to her uncle Trent and aunt Kaitlin. It was time to get going.
As soon as we step on the outside, it was dark and the sky was clear and full of stars. It was like heaven was saying that they were ready to receive this beautiful young woman to serve Jesus Christ. The drive was long and I felt empty and excited at the same time. It was quiet, the kids were not saying a word. I think they took a little nap between grandma’s house and the airport.
As soon as we got the airport, daddy got the luggage out of the trunk. We tried to take some pictures but it was too dark outside. Daddy had to stay behind in the car. He had to say his goodbye, it was fast because we were late. He gave her a hug then we left.
When we got to the check in, we were a little late but they got us going and we finished quite fast. It was time for her to leave us. I was not going to cry and I was so happy for her. I was ready to send her out, when a couple asked us she was going to serve a mission, I could not help it, and my heart broke into tears and I realized she was leaving us. My baby has grown and she was ready to be a grown up. The best part of it, she was going to teach the people in Brazil about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I felt selfish and happy for what she was going to do. I lost my baby but God received another warrior for His battle. The worse part was to see her siblings saying goodbye, it was the first time we all saying goodbye to our Raffis! When are we going to see her smiles again?! We all broke into tears, and we all felt the loss. She cried and I know she felt the same thing. She knew she was growing up, and it was time to leave her family and have her own life. She is going to start in grand style by serving the Lord.
This experience made me think about my mom, and how she felt when I left home. I felt part of my heart was cut, and I felt empty inside. And now I understand my mom and the pain she had when we all left home. How could she cope with it?! I asked her, and she said, she never did, she just accepted. And it is my motto, to accept that all my children will be gone someday. I just experienced the first one. What a sweet memory I will have!
Right after the airport, we decided to have breakfast, while seating at the restaurant, one of the chairs was empty, and I said, oh no!! That’s Rafa’s seat and she is not here anymore. Brandon chocked and said how bad he felt. I thought I was the only one who felt that way but he could not help his tears. I realized we both lost our big baby and life won’t never be the same.
Even thought this post sounds like we are in pain, yes we are but at the same time, we are so happy to have a missionary serving the Lord. We are so happy we can share our beautiful daughter with the Lord, so she can help Him in his work. We know she will do fantastic!! Go Rafa!!!
I have a video and some photos of this great day in our family’s life. I hope you all can enjoy it!