"Why is goodbye so hard?" he steals the words from my mind. Vocalizing them triggers my heightened emotions once again.
My boy, on the brink of manhood, crumbles into my arms. "It's hard," I manage through the tender tears of motherhood, "because you are going to miss the ones you love."
By nature I am not a super emotional person, I don't wear my heart on my sleeve. I don't shed tears on a regular basis. But when it comes to my children - their health, their success, and their happiness - there is not a strand of my being that isn't emotionally bound. Seeing my boy hurt, hurts me.
We share a moment of tenderness - something that doesn't happen much between red personalities. "It's going to hurt," I don't even try to sugar coat it, "because you care." I look for another tidbit of wisdom to offer, but all I can muster are sympathetic tears.
There are parts of this journey I didn't plan for. Parts that if I'd taken off my OCD, planning, organizing, checking-off-the-to-do-list hat for just a moment, I'd have seen coming: Saying goodbye to your family is hard... saying goodbye to your best friend may be even harder.
Though I sent many good friends off on their missions, I never had to bid the two year farewell to my best friend. My heart breaks. I can only imagine the pain. He has many good friends... Great ones, even. His best friend is someone we all love. Saying good bye is hard.
"It's okay to cry," I comfort through my own damp eyes. "You're doing what's right." We both know it. We also both know that things will work out, if not the way we plan, then as something even better.
Saying goodbye is hard, but with each day that passes we will know that he is busily engaged in the Lord's work. We will all grow. We will all benefit. His service will touch many - both at home and abroad.
Good bye, my son! May God bless you. We love you. Return with honor!