One treads on sacred ground when writing on Hope's blog but she is not here to either forbid or edit. Nor does she have access to these final images chronicling the last hours before her departure. I have spared you the visual of her room and other areas in our home where, like Hansel and Gretel, she carefully marked her path home with clothing, treasured trinkets, ticket stubs, college and childhood toys and sentimental junk. It's tempting to leave it all out in an attempt to comfort ourselves that she will follow them back home! However, looking at her happy face gives us courage to let her go and share her sunshine magnified by the light of the gospel with her So. California family. Today with this girl was an experience in pure joy. See for yourself!
Hope surrounded by cousins and siblings after being set apart.
Our final run together but my first in a missionary trio with my daughters.
Pressing her love and memory into her beloved nephews. Hope's free babysitting services will indubitably be missed.
My cousin Katherine volunteers at the mtc every wednesday where she helps sobbing families and ecstatic missionaries part. I think that's a kind way of saying she gently loads heaving mothers into their cars and makes sure the missionaries are whisked out of sight before moms jump out again. She looked for us all afternoon and then helped us linger just a tad longer than protocol allowed.
So, we had been back in our car and driving for about 5 minutes when my phone starts ringing. I look down and see that the incoming call is from Hope. I quickly announce that this is a cruel joke and not to be played on a mother who has just lost a limb. My phone keeps ringing. Again, I protest and refuse to answer the phone thereby hoping not to give the unkind prankster any evil satisfaction. Again, all in the car deny the deed. Finally, Allan suggests I answer it. On the other end is my sheepish missionary daughter confessing she has forgotten to leave her phone with us. A very kind "information desk volunteer" instructs me in how to retrieve her phone! I then am put back on the phone with Hope. I tell her this call does not count as my Christmas call (which is the next time I get to hear her voice.) She tells me it's for Mother's Day then hangs up. Ta Da, I do get to go into the mtc and feel the magic all over again. After all, it's a long time until Christmas!