Although it is a bit late, here is the wrap-up from a missionary mother's perspective:
Tomorrow we will be reunited with our daughter. She has been serving in the Philippines Olongapo Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the past 18 months of her life. We have kept in touch during that time by once-a-week emails that came in each Sunday night (Monday morning for her) and two Skype calls--one on Christmas of 2013 and one on Mother's Day 2014.
Before she served, I would frequently hear moms of missionaries speak of the blessings they had received while their children served the Lord. I didn't understand this, and I guess there really is no way to fully comprehend it unless you've experienced it for yourself. Although I'd heard people speak of these blessings, I don't recall them specifically enumerating what those blessings might be.
I want to make sure, while they are still clear in my mind, that I don't overlook any of these blessings that I have received as a mother of a missionary. I also want to be sure that it is understood that each of these blessings was paid for with a price, and in some cases many prices (trials were thick during this time and possibly harder than they've been in the past when I haven't had a missionary serving), but the main price was the sacrifice made of allowing my daughter to give a year and a half of her life to the Lord--for the experience to learn to make her own sacrifices and to learn to serve as He would. When you look at it that way, it really seems like it was no sacrifice at all--the blessings far outweigh the prices paid.
Here are eighteen of the blessings that I, specifically, gained by sacrificing the presence of my daughter for the past 18 months of her life. They are in no particular order: