5 months ago part of my heart was ripped out and put on a plane to England. No one could have prepared me for how hard it would be to send my firstborn off into the world without me. It's like labor with your first child. You see the movies, you hear other women's stories about their labor and how painful it is but it isn't until you go through it yourself that you can truly know what they mean. For each person it is different. For me, this was far harder than giving birth to him which left me with 47 stitches.
In our church, we know from the time we have sons that, if all goes according to plans, at 19 (now 18) our young men and some young women will leave us for two years. Two years without seeing them. Two years without daily chats and nurturing. I came home and googled support groups. Really. I didn't know how I would make it for two years without seeing him or talking to him daily. I have rarely gone a day without seeing him. I can count on one hand how many times I have left my children. I am just not built that way. This was going to be rough. I was not prepared.
I did raise him for this. He was ready. He knew how to sew on a button, iron a shirt, do laundry, budget his finances, make simple meals. He could live without me. Maybe that was part of the problem. He could live without me. He didn't need me to mother him as I have always done. He will always need me, but my role is now different. Maybe that is part of what I am mourning. My child is a man.
Now, I know this is where he should be. I know being a missionary is a mighty calling and I couldn't be more proud. He made great sacrifices to leave on this mission. I wouldn't want him anywhere else and he has grown and changed in ways that would not have been possible if he had stayed here. It gives me peace to know he is serving the Lord and blessing those in Wales but I selfishly want him here. It has been almost 5 months and they say it is supposed to get easier. Well, that hasn't happened yet for this mom. I wake up thinking about him and go to bed thinking about him. I want time to speed up but that would mean that time would also speed up for my next child who will be leaving for college next summer. I am thankful that I don't control time. That would be a conundrum, as they say.
I am sure he will be home before I know it and then he will quickly fly the coop again to marry his sweetheart, Heather who is also leaving on a mission in a few weeks (I will cry just as much to send her off, she is my daughter in every sense)
The bottom line; life will change. My children are growing and they are moving on. I never thought about this part of my life. All I wanted to be was a mother. I don't know how to transition. They just don't tell you about this stage. I don't want free time. I don't want life without kids. Fortunately I will have grandkids and I will spoil them rotten. Time goes way too fast. I swear I just had kids in diapers.
I love my missionary. Wales, I hope you know how lucky you are to have him! Keep him safe.
To all those other brave mothers who's hearts are around the world as well, well done! You created a person, raised him/her well, and allowed them to soar without you. Life is meant for us to grow and stretch. It can be painful. I don't like change but here I go. Maybe tomorrow will be the day that I stop crying. Maybe not. Being a mother can hurt sometimes when the heart strings are so tightly strung. I think my heart strings were strung extra tight.