Don’t say it’s flown by, just please don’t. As little Mary wrote to Ben, “Sometimes I feel like you have been gone 10,000 years but than I have to remember you have only been gone 100 years.“
We’ve taken an entire trip around the sun since seeing his face: holidays, vacations, small crises, big celebrations… And if you really think nothing has changed, just look at Hans.
Part of me feels victorious at making it this far, while my heart wonders if I can do it again? I certainly don’t want to wish the time away, because Stefan will leave just weeks after Ben arrives home; I want to make the most of these months and weeks and days.
Everyone talks about the blessings of sending out a missionary and for us, the best part of Ben’s mission is the increased love in our family. We appreciate each other more, we’re cheering louder for accomplishments and offering more hugs and tears of sympathy. Ben speaks so often of his love for us, we can’t help but feel more affection for each other. He’s also complimentary of our parenting: encourages us to keep praying together, turning off the TV, cleaning the bathrooms on Saturday mornings.
Stefan- Isn’t it a bummer to see how much fun our family is and then have to leave? Before long you won’t even be at home and then you’ll really see how cool our family is. You were always pretty good at that though- seeing how cool our family was- just make sure you make the most of it now because your days of living at home are numbered and once you leave you can never really come back. That sounded dramatic, but that’s just how I am. Anyways, enjoy being at home, soak it up, notice how good life is with our family.
Another blessing of Ben’s mission is the marvelous people who’ve come into our lives. We’ve become friends with his companions, their parents and anyone interested in Italy. Judi, whose son left on his mission to Milan a year earlier, found me the day of Ben’s call. She has become a trusted friend, guiding me through every high and low. And coincidentally (or truly, miraculously), Ben was in the same area as Judi’s son for the entire first year of his mission. Judi cared for me while Robert cared for Ben. When we met in person last week at Robert’s homecoming party it was like a reunion with long lost family.
It’s so nice to see missionaries come home.
One more year, one more trip around the sun. We’ll appreciate every day at home just as Ben savors his time in Italy.