Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Tom Is On His Way!
Well, we did it. We took our sweet son to the airport and said goodbye to him.... what an experience! My neighbor, Kris, described it best by saying it was like taking a Bandaid off really slowly - you just want to rip it off really quickly because you know it's going to hurt! I think I have been dreading this day for a long, long time... maybe even about 19 years. It was very hard this morning - I kept making Emilee cry and then Dave made us all cry and it was really, really difficult. We all broke down the worst when Tom said goodbye to Toby and Sherman. We went out to breakfast at The Original Pancake House (the best place for breakfast!) and we all only cried once at the restaurant (people probably thought we were crazy). We got out to the airport pretty early where Harold Weight caught up to us to say goodbye to Tom, which was very touching. Getting down to the area to get Tom's tickets, we immediately spotted another missionary and his family. We had to find out if he was going to Brazil and he was! Elder Anderson from Centerville and we were amazed that his suitcase only weighed 39 pounds. Tom's weighed in at 49 lbs and that was with taking a bunch of stuff out that he really needed, but can probably get down there (although the lady that checked his bag said that 49 lbs was amazing for going down to Brazil!). Then we spotted a few more missionaries and got to talk with them and their families, which was really comforting. I think there may have been as many as 8 to 10 in the group going to Sao Paulo through Dallas. The security line started getting long so we were forced to say goodbye to Tom and let him go get in line. It was hard, but still good at the same time - kind of a relief. Then we talked to a family who told us another family was looking for Tom because their son, Shawn, was supposed to be Tom's companion down to Sao Paulo. We finally met up with them and said hi to Shawn really quickly as he was getting in line - super cute kid and he seemed really happy and excited to be going! Tom was a ways ahead of him in line, but I am sure they got together once they were through security. We talked to Shawn's family while they got all the way through security and then watched Tom's head as he headed off to the gates. I feel really confident that he is ready for this and will be fine. I have hope that he will make life long friendships and will grow and mature even more than he has in just these last few months. Our family seemed small on the drive home, but it's only for two years so I am sure we will be fine. I am deeply grateful to everyone who has helped us and supported us through this time - I am overwhelmed by the generosity and sincere love that has come from family, friends and neighbors for Tom and for us. We will have hard times ahead of us, missing Tom and going on with life without him, but I know it will all be worth it in the long run! All I can say is lucky Brazil - they get to share our son's with us and they are in for a treat!