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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sacrifices of an Oldest Child

I am grateful for migraine medication. I mean, truly, how would I have survived all these years without it? I would have missed out on SO many days with my kids.

Last night was the first night in years that I didn't medicate a migraine. I didn't medicate on purpose, and I have my reasons, but the experience has made me so grateful for what I've got by way of treatment.

I tracked #1 until about 8:45 last night. We'd had Family Home Evening, where we'd encouraged the kids in their summer scripture reading, and then skipped off to the pool for some swimming. I love that they love to go, but I was more grateful, last night, for the moment when they hopped out. I was SO ready to go home.

I came home and curled up on my bed. One of the kids brought me an ice pack, and I put it on the base of my skull. I had forgotten that you can actually feel, with your hand, where the headache is. I had a couple of the kids "feel" my headache. It's kind of impressive, actually.

The Warden called the kids to family prayer and scripture study, and I, feeling a twinge of guilt at the bad example I was setting by not being there, didn't go. I fell asleep, which was a very good thing to do under the circumstances.

When the Warden came to bed, he announced: "She arrived in Tokyo." I mumbled my approval and fell back asleep immediately, head still throbbing.

I woke three different times during the night; each time, wondering if she'd arrived yet. Then, I looked out the window and realized it was too dark to be 6 or 7, so I went back to sleep.

Just a bit ago now, at 5am, I finally opened the computer to look at the tracker. She had an hour and six minutes left.

I posted that fact on Facebook and had an almost immediate comment from a dear friend who served in the Manila Mission a number of years ago. I loved her response. For me, back in those days, the final destination was four hours prior to hers. I was able to get off in Tokyo and have a short flight to my mission in Sendai. My journey was over. I can't even imagine that extra time. I asked my friend what she was experiencing when she landed. Here's what she said:

"I remember feeling gross, sweaty sticky exhausted from the flight, getting off the plane was scary everything was moving so fast I couldn't understand one thing after feeling like I had a little bit of skill from 9 weeks in the MTC we had to stand in lines checking all our documents and waiting for luggage it was just so strange not knowing anything that was happening. I don't even remember who helped us ! Then AP's showed up and we drove to the mission home q will have quite the experience hopping in a jeepny!"

I can't even imagine this world where my daughter will serve. An experience of a lifetime!

You know, sometimes you step back and take a moment to look at your kids not as your kids but as human beings, and honestly, they never cease to amaze me. #1, by nature, is so like her dad--mellow and go-with-the-flow. They somehow instinctively know that there is a greater power in charge and because of that, there is little need to worry. At least, that's what I've finally deduced. It's not that either of them have verbalized that fact, it's just that that's how it seems. That is what I expect will carry her through many of the things she will see, feel, and experience.

The idea that #1 knew what kind of place she was going is somewhat miraculous to me. I mean, of course, she knew she was going to the Philippines, but how would she know what that really meant? I'm sure she didn't and many surprises lie ahead, but how simply she packed and left behind things she used on a daily basis here, surprised and impressed me. No contacts, no make up, simple clothing....She's there to get down and dirty and get to work loving the Filipino people. Somehow, she knows exactly what she's getting into. Wow! I didn't know that this what I was raising--a girl who can leave it all behind to serve the Lord and His children.

I'm so excited to see what comes next. From what I understand from others, there should be an email with a photo from the Mission office after she arrives. I'm not really expecting that until the middle of the night, but is there really any question of me stalking my inbox today?

The headache hangs like a halo around my head this morning....Threatening to return at any bad move on my part. Such is the nature of migraines, but today, I will medicate. It's going to be a good day.

She arrives in eight minutes.

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