My son Dane is currently serving a full time, two year mission for the LDS church in Lithuania. He is having the time of his life. He loves the people and beautiful land and the companion he’s works with. He is struggling with the language, but it is coming along and he is determined to get better every day.
It is wonderful to read his letters and to know how happy he is–but as a mom…well, I never imagined how hard it would be to say good-bye to my boy. It was unlike anything I’ve ever done. I’m so proud of him…but man, I miss him.
With High School Pal–Justin Benson
I always imagined that it would be easy to be the “sturdy mountain woman” type about having him gone…but I’m more like a big, nerdy, cry baby.
Someone asks how he’s doing, and instead of answering…I cry. Someone tells me they’ve heard from him…I cry. We open his emails and read his weekly adventures…I cry. Ridiculous pattern here.
I have no doubt that this two year mission will be an incredible growing experience for all of us…especially his wussy mother.
Lyndi, at last, is beginning to look like she’s expecting. Her body is so long and willowy that her baby girl has been able to hide away from all of us…until now. She kicks and squirms so much more these days, like she wants to be sure we know she’s there, waiting to be ours. She’s like her mama that way. They haven’t settled on a name yet and so the sweet thing has been dubbed Baby Chomp after the Nintendo character. Lyndi says, “You know that phase where you’re just starving, so you eat…and then 5 minutes later, you’re starving again.” Baby Chomp…get it?
Of course, she felt like she was eating everything in sight–like Pac man–tortillas, Tillamook, Goldfish crackers, Teddy Grahams and anything with cream cheese on it. All of which was very new and scary to this daughter. But I think her body was making up for all the year’s she spend flitting and dancing around forgetting to eat altogether. She’s happily somewhere in the middle now.
So, as the temperature keeps dropping and we huddle in a bit more closely to home, I’ll start pulling out some of the finer yarns and slightly smaller hooks and begin the stacks of toasty things, to keep the new one coming snuggly warm. The booties and socks and caps and leggings. Then to rekindle interest in the dozens of half-worked projects waiting to be finished.
There are 4 or 5 shawls and wraps in the works, countless slippers for 20 or so feet, new hats for the twins, soft, jingly toys–with no noisy microchips attached–thank Heavens, and my own version of “doggy dollies” –that I will show you in the next little while. A few piles of crocheting are for now, most have the Christmas deadline–and the rest are for January…for that tiny face we don’t know yet.
A man I met only once, and that was from afar. I watched as he laughed, joked, taught, and mentored my youngest brother and realized that he was giving Rhen the gift of seeing his own potential. “Bish” (the name he went by) coached my brother in shot put, and Rhen loved learning from him. He was a world class athlete, competed in the ’76, ’80, and ’84 Olympic Games, and was also the “World’s Strongest Man.” He taught Rhen about throwing with better form, being strong, and about the trajectory his shot put would take. Sadly, he won’t witness Rhen’s trajectory as he moves ahead with his training, but I know that he had a profound influence for good. If that’s all someone could say about me when I passed on, it would be more than enough. Onward and upward, Bish, to that place where you won’t be in pain. We’ll be thinking about you.