Aaron has been gone six months. I look back at my posts that I made when the boy left: posts with titles like “suffering” and “sacrifice.” I have a vague memory of feeling that way. I had written the Missionary Moms when I was missing Aaron a lot, right after he left, and they all told me that if I could get to six months, I would feel much better. They were right. I assumed, when I heard their advice, I’d feel better because time had passed. That’s actually only part of the story.
Sure, time passes and we get used to a new normal. I will concede that time does tend to heal wounds. But I remember a point when I got one of Aaron’s letters where it was clear that he had found a home down there. He was talking about people like they were his friends. They were people that he would miss if he never saw them again, and they no doubt would miss him as well. Mothers were feeding him. Children were befriending him. Other missionaries were sharing their strategies with him to help him manage his new life.
Knowing that there are people in Guatemala who care about my son helps me know that I’m not the only one seeing to his welfare anymore. He is loving and serving, and, in turn, is being loved and served. His willingness to speak the language and eat the food and make friends down there is not only making it easier for him, it is making it easier for me. Love brings us so much support in our lives. He is loved in Guatemala. He is going to be just fine, and because of that, so am I.
I am starting so suspect that love is the answer to everything. It certainly has been a wonderful lesson to learn, and I’m not sure I could have learned it any other way.
Great post Cheryl – I really enjoyed reading it.
Betsy I actually thought a lot about you as I wrote this post–you have a knack for going anywhere and making your mark very quickly–any place becomes home to you because of your capacity to love.
Wow…thanks Cheryl. It makes me feel wonderful that you would say that. I certainly felt much love and at home with you and your fam. Some folks (like you) are just easy to love!
I love the way you write. Perspective is a wonderful thing.
I’m glad you are doing well. ( :
Cheryl-it is so true that once we forget ourselves and think of others, then we become part of what makes that little corner of the world a happy place! I remember clearly thinking everyday early on in each child’s mission, Is Vince ok? Is Bill homesick? Is Hillary being treated kindly or being taken advantage of? Are they learning the language? Does anyone care for them? 6 months really does seem to be the magic mark. Its obvious Aaron has lost himself, he seems to be really enjoying the work! I will share that for me, and I hope it is the same for you, each successive child’s departure seemed a tad bit easier. But now, our next missionary is the baby (I doubt Mim would like me calling her that), and I am not sure how i will handle this at all! Not so long away until your next missionary departs…I will be interested to see how that goes!
We miss you and your family and all the wonderful people back home in Henderson 🙂
I am somewhat fascinated with kind of standing outside myself and observing how I am reacting to all of this. Suzanne, we’ll have to keep in touch as our ‘babies’embark. I will watch to see what your perspective is since you are farther down the road than me on this!