Thursday, June 19, 2014

Until We Meet Again, Elder Albrecht

Michael headed off to kindergarten in August 2001.  I remember the days leading up to his first day, intermittent crying and my heart feeling like it would break.  It was quite sad now that I think about it considering he was only leaving me for less than four hours.  I remember standing in the school parking lot trying to hold it together as I watched him walk through the doors with such confidence.  Add Neil into the mix who had always had his big brother around crying, not understanding why he couldn't go with his big brother and also why his big brother wasn't get in the car with us.  He was so sad and it broke my heart.
Michael after being set apart.  One of our Sister Missionaries gave him this beautiful seashell lei.
Yesterday I felt a lot of the same emotions except this time he wasn't leaving for just a few hours, he was venturing off for two years...overseas.  I thought I was handling it pretty well.  Sure I had random bouts of misty eyes but I hadn't had a good cry until the night before he left.  As we were driving to the airport, I'd start to get choked up but that was all.  As we were preparing to say goodbye I wanted to cry but I didn't, I held it together until I looked at Neil and saw that he was breaking down.  It was so tender.  My boys are so close to each other and love each other so much it overwhelmed my heart to see such love expressed openly.  I am grateful that Michael left knowing that his family loves him so much.  I pray that love will lift him up when he faces challenges during the next two years.

I cried when he entered security.  Oh I hate that we couldn't go with him to the gate.  It was torture sitting in the airport wondering if he was okay.  I don't know why I worried so much, he carried himself with the same confidence he had as a 5 year old boy walking into school for the first time.  He has prepared for this and he is confident that this is exactly where he is supposed to be.  I am constantly amazed at his maturity and desire to follow the path the Lord has set for him.

Michael handled his leaving much better than his family did.  We were a sobbing mess standing outside the security area.  We had no shame expressing our love for a member of the family who was leaving.

I admit that I had a good, hearty know the ugly cry...when I walked in the house.  The dynamics of our home has changed but it is for the better.  I can already feel the blessings of having a missionary out in the field.  It was hard not knowing where he was or if he made it through customs alright.  I think the hardest part for me was that he was traveling alone.  It's the way I feel when Kevin leaves on deployments, I get to stay with my family and I have support but when  he leaves he is often alone.  I was quickly reminded that Michael is not alone, he is being watched over by Heavenly Father and he has been lifted up by so many prayers from all of our amazing friends and family.

The support our family has received the past few days is overwhelming  I wish I could go and hug each person (and that's saying a lot since I am NOT a hugger) but I have felt the love and comfort and it was humbling.

I know I am going to have days where I struggle with missing my son but I know we'll have more days when we will feel blessed to have an amazing son who has followed his Father's plan.

This morning, I woke up to a short email from Michael and it left me with such comfort.  I can feel his excitement and I just can't be sad about that.

Mom, we just made it to the MTC about 4 hours ago. All is well, and my bags made it here as well. The MTC is just amazing and beautiful. We only have a few short minutes today, but I wanted you to know that I have felt so much support from you guys and I am so grateful for that. I love you so much(:

Elder Albrecht, we love you and we do support you and we pray for you always as you embark on this new chapter.  Until We Meet Again....

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