There are two farewells when a missionary leaves– the first, a grand celebratory day where the prospective missionary speaks in church, we fill the house with flags and flowers and the counter fills with cookies and cards as friends and family come to visit. It’s a day with only happy tears, cheerful exclamations and expressions of gratitude for all the people who’ve taught and helped and loved this child. The second– the day the family drops off their missionary at the airport or the MTC– is smaller, quieter and for us, MUCH sadder.
I’d intended to cover both farewells in this blog post– I’d selected and arranged all the photos, written the blurbs– but those two goodbyes are so different, and so much happened in between, I just couldn’t.
So, you may feel like this blog is nothing but mission homecomings and farewells these days. And I agree.
Since there aren’t any arrangements for three violas, piano and a cello, Sammie arranged one all on her own (based on Mack Wilberg’s arrangement of “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need”). Our ward generally frowns on family musical numbers for farewells, but due to scheduling difficulties we somehow got away with it. The strains of this lovely hymn filled our house the entire morning and offered peace when we needed it most. I’m grateful to those who were willing to bend the rules a bit.
Between rehearsals, Xander practiced his talk on a friendly audience.
It was a glorious day. A true celebration.
Thanks to everyone who attended, brought cookies, sent love and cared for our family.
Oh our darling boy.