Detroit, Michigan. That's where my boy will be serving for the next 2 years. Perhaps he won't be right in the city the whole time. Perhaps he won't spend any time in the city at all. But the Michigan, Detroit mission is where he has been called to serve.
I don't think it has completely hit me yet. It's not really possible to comprehend the reality of Kaden being 1,600 miles away for 2 solid years with only written contact except for the 2 times a year he will be able to call/skype home. Like, I literally can't imagine what it will be like or how it will feel. I'm sure it's going to be hard at times, that I'll miss him like crazy and just want to hear his voice. We've always had a close relationship and we talk about anything and everything. It's hard to imagine only speaking in person 4 times over the next two years.
But there is absolutely no place I'd rather have him be, and nothing else I'd rather have him doing than serving the Lord as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When I think of the people of Michigan that he will meet, and love and serve, I'm overwhelmed with love for people I don't yet even know. Because there are people there who need my son. Who need the love and service he will give them. Who need to hear his testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and who need to hear the gospel message he is going to share. I'm so proud of my son for his decision to serve, and grateful to be blessed with such a good young man to call my son.
Here is the beginning of a blog post I started when Kaden graduated last June:
"And just like that. It's over.
High school, I mean. For my son. I am officially the mother of a graduate. It's kind of surreal. It's like he was this tiny little brown bundle of curious energy, and I blinked, and now I have this funny, talkative, SMART, kind young man on the verge of taking life by the horns and doing something amazing.
I honestly do not know how he got to be so good. He is good to the core."
I never finished that post. But I still remember vividly the emotions I was going through at the time. The sentimentality. The pride. The overwhelming sense of not being able to slow down time and have my boy be a kid for just a little longer. And now here we are, 6 months later and I have a young man ready to travel halfway across the country, and live among people he's never met, and share the gospel with all who will hear him. How did this mom get so lucky?
I feel so many different emotions. I feel a little bit of apprehension - he's never been away from home for longer than a week. But I also feel comfort in knowing that he'll be in the best hands. He'll be looked over by a loving mission president, and his wife, and he'll be surrounded by other young people who are out doing the same thing he is doing. What an amazing support system I have to help me take care of my son while he is away from home. Above all, I know he is in the Lord's hands, and that is the most comforting of all.
I feel more than a little bit of excitement. I've started learning about the history of Detroit, and the state of Michigan, as well as the current social and economical environment. It's so different from the way Kaden has grown up, and what an amazing opportunity for him to learn and grow, as he serves the people of Michigan. I can't wait for the experiences he's going to have, and how he'll grow as a person and in the gospel.
I feel completely overwhelmed. 34 days. That's how much time I have to get everything he needs, and have him ready to go! He enters the Provo MTC on February 8. ACK!!
I feel proud. I'm proud of Kaden for his desire to serve the Lord. And for his willingness to set aside his own ambitions for 2 years, and dedicate all his time and energy to this service. Again I ask, how did this mom get so lucky?
Most of all I feel grateful. I feel grateful to know of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To understand his plan of happiness, and be a part of something so joyous. I'm grateful for all who have influenced Kaden's life for good over these past 18 years. For family, teachers, leaders and friends. All have played and continue to play such an important role in helping Kaden become who he is meant to be. I'm thankful for my Savior and his atoning sacrifice, and what it means for me and my family on an eternal scale. And I'm just grateful for the love and support from those around me as we get ready for this grand new adventure in our family!