Friday, January 10, 2014

Series of Sad Yet Fortunate Events -- From Dad

Dearest Lex-

I write you this letter as I sit on the plane ride home from dropping you off at the MTC.  I was planning on writing you a letter and then handing it to you as we said goodbye but thought better of it.  The father's blessing would let you know how I felt, how your Mom felt, and how the Lord felt.

So while I am not a fan of the MTC "curb drop", I was so impressed with how you left me.  We cried, embraced really hard, said we loved each other, and then you let go, looked at the curbside Elder and said with a teary smile, “Let's go get this started!”  That enthusiasm, faith, and desire to work hard and try new things will serve you well!  In that moment, my testimony was strengthened and it was once again reaffirmed how much of an instrument in the hands of the Lord you would be.

Anyways, I thought you would find the following series of events, or my story, to be rather comical.  I talked to Mom most of the way to the airport which really helped me to be able to fight back the tears and improve the visibility (even though it was snowing really hard the closer I got to Salt Lake).  I so love your Mother.  She is the greatest blessing of my life.  You are so lucky to have her as a Mom.

Ok, back to the story .... As I drove to the airport, I wondered what you were doing and even thought about texting you.  Ooops, that won't work anymore -- Insert Rachel calling me an idiot right here.  So here is where it gets comical (movie type stuff – think Fools Rush In - even though each instance made me cry).  We'll call it, “Dad's Series Of Sad Yet Fortunate Events”.

Event #1 - As I pulled into the rental car return I was gathering all the stuff and I stumbled across your phone.  Rachel had sent you a text (which I don't think you saw) after you two talked.  I read it and was sad, yet happy that you two have such a great relationship.  She said, “I love you tons and I’ll miss you like crazy, but you’re gonna do so good!  I know it!  Have faith and work hard and you’ll do great things.  Go out there and change the world!  I’ll see you soon buddy.  18 months will fly by!”  So here I go crying while the lady comes up to check my car in. 

Event #2 - I walk into the terminal to get my ticket and here comes about 25 family members with balloons and Welcome Home signs, surrounding their missionary that has just returned.  (Insert more tears here).  Yet I smile as I think of the amazing stories you will have to tell and the growth you will have experienced when that is our moment at DFW airport in 2015.

Event #3 - I am hungry so I decide to walk down to Terminal 2 to the food court.  Was thinking about Pei Wei, but again...memories of Lex, which at this point I am trying to avoid so I can look like a normal human being instead of a grown man crying in an airport.  As I make my way to Terminal 2 food court I look up and see a Cafe Rio.  Darn it.  More tears.  Yet happy thoughts of the afternoon and night before your mission spent with some amazing roommates and family that loves you.  So grateful for Emma and Tamsyn who I am sure will be life-long friends in the gospel.  More pieces that Heavenly Father placed in your path for support and strength.  Yet another blessing.  So where did I end up eating?... Pei Wei.

Event #4 - As I board the plane I feel alone.  I take my seat next to a stranger who is on the aisle and have an empty seat between us.  Normally I would rejoice in this development, but the empty seat represents one huge person in my life that is missing.  The plane begins to taxi to the runway when I hear a blaring alarm.  I look around to see which idiot has their phone alarm going off.  Further why are they just sitting there letting it ring?  I think for a moment and then the horror hits me.  It is your phone.  It is time for your 6pm medicine.  Imagine my horror as I dig through my carry-on bag to find the phone with a birth control pill alarm ringing.  The message I take from this sign is that you are always here in our hearts, minds and prayers.  You are with us in spirit reminding us how we should be.  Those mental alarms will go off as I get a little crazy and your words of telling me not to be dumb will echo in my mind.  I will strive to be nicer, more loving, and more patient.

So I am sure “Dad's Series Of Sad Yet Fortunate Events” will continue over the next 18 months.  I miss you dearly but know that your mission will make not only you, but every one of us in our family stronger.  I am so excited to go on this adventure with you through your letters and emails.  I miss you dearly and my heart aches.  Tears flow as I write this (again sitting on an airplane like an idiot).  But those tears represent a love for family that I am not ashamed of.  I LOVE our family.

Alright, I am going to stop writing and turn on a movie where people are blowing stuff up.  Pull out my man card and fly home to your Mom, who I love more than anything.  I'll squeeze the family for you and tell them again how much you love them.  I'll explain to Megan about the necklace and the message you wanted her to hear.

Go forth and serve!

Love you muchie muchie! Bunches and bunches! Tons and tons! Oodles and zoodles!

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