Monday, March 13, 2023

Ollie takes flight!.

 Today was a big day for our family.
Today Ollie left for his 2-year mission in Interlagos, Brazil!
Christian had left earlier for the airport on a work trip in San Fransisco,
so Gigs, Lottie, and I accompanied Elder Nielson 
to the Raleigh/Durham airport to say goodbye and send him off.
Early this morning, I went to the boy's room while it was still dark outside to
get them up.  I stopped in my tracks for a few minutes looking
at Ollie sound asleep in his little bed.
I knew this was the ending of a chapter in our family dialogues and
I tried to push back the tears as I woke him up.
It was a dark rainy day, and I usually love dark and dreary
days, BUT not this time.  Today seemed overwhelming and sad.
We were silent in the car except for a playlist of Ollie's favorite
songs and music playing, which made everything worse and
unnecessarily dramatic!  
We arrived at the airport with plenty of time,
we exchanged letters with each other; he had written each of
us a note, and we had written him letters too.
My letter came with a little present- several packs of Bubble Yum
cotton candy gum.  I told him he and his companion could each eat
one piece each month, and when the packs are gone, he'll be home!
Ollie and I both LOVE that gum (no one else does!).
We sat in the airport waiting room, and he fell asleep on my shoulder.
Tears dripped from my eyes as I felt the weight of his head.
I smelled his hair and looked at his hands.
Oh my goodness, how I'm going to miss him!!! 
Finally, it was time to say goodbye, and we hugged and cried and hugged
and cried a lot more.  I felt so sad but so proud at the same time.
I thought it was very fitting that his ticket printed his name as
That's exactly who he is- a believer in Christ!
This is one of his favorite scriptures, and it relates to
him in his life more than ever right now found in 
The Doctrine and Covenants 24:10:
"...Oliver shall continue in bearing my name 
before the world, and also to the church. 
And he shall not suppose that he can say enough 
in my cause; and lo, I am with him to the end."
He marched in the TSA line and soon disappeared into the crowd.
We saw him again after he got through security and
waved a giant goodbye to us. 
 I broke down in tears and didn't stop crying all day. 
Having Christian gone made everything 500 times worse.
I felt so lonely and sad.
When we got home, I saw his breakfast bowl and plate sitting out still,
and his dirty clothes near his bed.
I had to remind myself that he's NOT DEAD and it's going to be OK
And I've already done this two times, and everything was just fine,
I'll just need some time to help me heal.
I climbed into my bed and took a nap; Lottie and Gigs watched a movie,
And we all felt horrible together.
Then the sun came out, and I took Angus on a little walk so I could
cry and pray out loud at the same time.
I asked the Lord to please help me find peace right then!
I KNOW he'll be fine; I KNOW he'll be safe,
I'm just sad for, well, me. 
I know that sounds selfish, but I will miss him
driving my car and taking us to pick up Lottie at 2:30 every day.
I will miss hearing his music and seeing his helmets around the house.
I will miss talking about motorcycles and wearing matching gloves 
on rides together.  There are so many things I'm going to miss.
I'm happy for him, but I'm sad for me.
Later I got a text from him as he loaded the plane from Atlanta 
to his final destination in Brazil, along with a few photos.
His eyes looked bloodshot, but he seemed really happy.
He had found his district and his companion, and he seemed ready.
He needed to connect with his group.
We texted for a few minutes, then he left, promising me he'd get to 
call me in the Brazil MTC the next day.
And somehow, I didn't feel so horrible anymore.

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