As a parent, a little piece of your heart breaks every time your child leaves. That part of your heart remains empty until you are once again reunited with the child you love. Even the knowledge that what they are doing is important and is the right thing for them to do does not completely fill that empty hole.
My oldest son, Hunter, has spent the last two years in Montana and Wyoming fulfilling a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). It was something he had wanted to do all his life and it is also something that as his parents, Rick and I knew he needed to do. Still it has not been easy to have him so far away, with only once a week emails and twice a year phone calls to touch base and use to judge how things are going.
Our family has been blessed that Hunter's mission was selected to participate in a pilot program for the LDS church using social media such as Facebook and Blogging to answer questions about the LDS faith and its beliefs. Although, we were not allowed to use this as a means for daily communication, by reading what was shared on FB and in Blog posts, we could more fully participate in Hunter's life during the last year.
Still the inability to physically touch and see him was always there. Sunday in our worship service, as we sang the opening song, I started to cry. Rick asked me what was wrong and I told him that I had just realized that this would be the last Sunday that I would have to spend without Hunter. He told me he thought I would be happy. I responded that they were happy tears.
Today was the day we picked him up from the Mission Home and started on our road home with him. Not only was my heart filled to see my son and be able to hug him again, but it overflowed as I was able to meet some of the people he has served and served with.
While the first two days of our trip have been awe-inspiring, today was I day that I felt truly humbled when I realized what a fine young man my son has become. The Lord has truly blessed us.