No big talk in sacrament meeting, no relatives coming in from San Diego, no giant spread of food with half the high school in the backyard.
Just a short talk offered during home church (with a copy mailed out to the ward) and an invite to stop by and get an ice cream cone on a hot Sunday night.
Sweet and simple. We were mostly successful with social distancing (but not the best).
And it’s a strange time– for Gabe he’s saying goodbye to his old life, but we’re not saying goodbye to him. He’ll be at home for six weeks of online missionary training which means: no phone, no TV or video games, no swimming or boating, no mixed gatherings with friends, 10 PM bedtime, 6:30 AM wake-up time.
Trust me, that’s a big change from his daily life this summer. But we get to keep him home for another six weeks, to share in his study of German and the words of Christ, to run with him in the early mornings, chat with him at lunch and hug him goodnight.
Our stake president came over the night before Gabe’s mission started to set him apart as a missionary, an emissary of Jesus Christ. I’ve witnessed this four times before, but this time I didn’t cry, I didn’t stay up late with my son going over packing lists and checklists. I’m settling down and settling in to walk this journey with him for a few more weeks. It’s a privilege and a pleasure.