This afternoon I went with Claire to Wallgreens in
Durham so she could get a mandatory COVID test for her mission.
She set up the appointment at Sister Beck's (her mission president's wife's) request.
Once we got there (after going to the wrong Wallgreens
and being 15 minutes late),
we discovered it wasn't a rapid test as she had thought.
Claire worried she wouldn't be able to go on her mission without a clean
COVID bill of health.
I called Christian, who made Claire feel much better about everything.
He is really good at making everything better. He told her not to worry.
The COVID test was easy and quick; hopefully, she will get the results soon!
Then we went to lunch together. I kept shoving the thought out of my
mind that this was our last lunch together.
I had a lump in my throat all day long.
I keep examining everything about her. Her dainty little fingers,
her short curly hair (that she cut herself a few days prior!!),
her legs, her little ears, and her smile.
Everything I adored about her since she was a little girl.
I had to shove the tears away so I wouldn't cry the whole time.
We talked about our close relationship as mother and daughter,
the people she'd meet, the friendships she'd make on her mission,
and how much we will miss each other!
We made one last visit to Target together for some last-minute items
(scissors, more masks, probiotics, nail clippers, and tweezers).
How could I make these moments last longer?
She resumed packing upstairs while I prepared her farewell feast downstairs at home.
I decorated the dining room with flags from Brazil and New Hampshire.
I made burrito bowls for dinner- one of Claire's favorite things I make.
Jane made the classic frog eye salad.
(a Nielson favorite), and we served the popular Brazilian drink, Guaraná.
We also made chocolate moose with fresh whipped cream.
I was going to make "Mom's chocolate cake."
but our oven is broken, so that was a bummer, especially since it's Claire's favorite.
It was such a fun night.
Chrisitan and I kept looking at each other in disbelief.
Weren't we just here to celebrate her 8th birthday?
Weren't we just holding her as a newborn?
Everything is going by so fast, and I'm not ready.
We must have sat around the table talking for hours.
No one wanted to be the first to break up the family moment.
But it was getting late, and we knew
Claire would be in for a long day tomorrow.
Christian gave Claire a beautiful father's blessing and blessed her
with success and the spirit to guide her every second.
He blessed her with safety and protection.
Claire is obedient, which will bless her mission and choices.
She is amazing. I can't say that enough.
Christian described her as "pure gold." It doesn't get better than Claire.
It indeed doesn't.
We shed tears as I tucked in all my "LITTLE NIES."
in bed one last time under the same roof.
The girls all smashed into the same bed,
and I cried myself to sleep next to Christian.