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I don’t know how to say goodbye | The Big Blue Bus Tour

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*Jacob and I at the Houston Temple

It’s 2am. I’ve been lying in bed unable to sleep. I feel like a huge weight is sitting on my chest. It took me a while to realize what the problem was.

One week from this morning Jake and I will drop Jacob off at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. Seven Days. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes. And then I won’t see him again for two years. 730 days (+/-30). 17,520 hours. 1,051,200 minutes.

I’m quietly sobbing as Jake sleeps soundly next to me. My entire body is filled with panic. I don’t think I can do it. I don’t think I can say goodbye. The last 12 days have been filled with blissful denial as we’ve focused on the task at hand. Getting well. But now we’re down to the final hours. He still needs 3 white short sleeve shirts. And an outlet adaptor. And I need to print some pictures for him to take.

He won’t be taking his cell phone. Or his computer. I won’t be able to text him at random. I won’t be able to talk to him whenever I need to. How have all the thousands and thousands of mothers who have done this before me managed?

I think I need to vomit.

I was so excited for him when he got his call to the Czech Republic. But now I wish he was going somewhere closer. Somewhere… more easily accessible. Not because I would be able to visit him, but wouldn’t I feel not so far away if he was physically closer?

I’m filled with regret. I wish I had hugged him more. I’m not a huggy mommy. Why didn’t I hug him more? I think I will hug him for the next 168 hours. I haven’t taken enough pictures of him. I have 73 million pictures of Miss B, but why so few of Jacob? I think I will take a thousand pictures of him in the next 168 hours. Does he know how much I love him? How proud I am of him? How even when I get frustrated and annoyed, I am still his biggest fan? Does he know how big the hole in my heart will be when he is gone?

Why did the last 18 years have to go by so quickly? How has it possibly been 18 years? How can he be a grown man ready to leave? This isn’t supposed to happen this quickly. Or at least shouldn’t I be ready for him to go? Because I’m not. I’m not ready.

Do I want him to stay?

No. I don’t want him to stay.

I don’t want that.

Because I believe with all my being that what he is doing is right.

And he is ready to go.

But I don’t know how to say goodbye.

I don’t what I will do in 168 hours, when it’s time to drop him at the doors. When he’s wearing his suit and carrying his bags. When I catch the last glimpse of him walking away. How will I do that?

Honestly, I just don’t know.

January 29, 2014 - 7:10 am

Jody - We’ve never met & my oldest of three sons won’t be ready to leave for another five years, but I never thought I’d be one of those who will have a tough time when they go. I’m not one of those weepy mothers who cry on the first day of kindergarden, or at prom or at their ordinations…… But after reading your post, on a whim, I can’t believe how much your worries about the “should haves” match mine. And now I’m weepy. :) So all I can think about, or maybe give you some consolidation?, is with as much as you’ve taught him, guided him & encouraged him to make this decision for himself he is where he’s supposed to be. The Lord will bless him & those who are waiting for the gift of the gospel. And I hope that will give me the strength to see him off & feel the comfort in knowing he is doing the work of the Lord. Get some more sleep…..you will need it & he will, too. (oh, and happy shopping :)

January 29, 2014 - 7:20 am

Amy - I have had similar nights and Matt is just working on his papers. :) we raised our children to be prepared to serve. I would be so disappointed if he didn’t, yet, I did not raise myself to be able to know how to let go. Because- how would I have known it would feel like this?!

It is not going to be easy, but so, so worth it!! :)

January 29, 2014 - 8:19 am

Kimberly - I’m so sad for you. I have those thoughts about Tabetha leaving and she isn’t even going anywhere yet. Jacob is a GREAT young man, and you are a GREAT mom. Love ya.

January 29, 2014 - 9:47 am

Sarah Tidwell - the only thing I can say……is……you will love his emails…..you will love how much he will love the people…He will come home…..but you will miss him……and ….not now….but ..one day…….you will read about another mother saying what you are saying…and your heart will break a little bit…for her…..

January 29, 2014 - 12:40 pm

Becky D. - Amy…my mother’s heart hurts for you. When I took Ashlyn to the airport to send her to college (not even close to the same, I know). I was strong while she walked away. I smiled and waved as a piece of my heart walked through security. I wanted her to know how proud and excited I was, because as a parent, it’s what we prepare our children to do. It’s what our Heavenly Father did and we are learning to be like him right? And then she turned one last time and I could no longer hold the tears back as I smiled and frantically waved and blew kisses…and she texted me: “thanks for raising me right mom, I love you”.

You’ve raised your son right, this is part of our striving to be like Heavenly Father…and it’s hard, SO very hard. But look at all of the choices your family has made so that you can be together and raise your children right…what an EPIC adventure you’ve had as parents…and what an EPIC adventure your son is about to have…think of the emails you are going to get and how incredible those precious phone calls will be. It is joyous to be a parent to an older child who is making righteous choices, serving the lord and living a fulfilling life.

Big Alaska Hugs.

January 29, 2014 - 1:02 pm

Kim - My oldest son (child #2) left on his mission 10 months ago, and my youngest will leave before the end of summer. As I read your blog, it brought back all those feelings – and those of when his older sister left for college. Feelings of doubt and regret and panic. While it’s not easy to say goodbye to them, know that you have raised a wonderful child who has a desire to go and serve the Lord. Be thankful that he is willing to go and do that. I can honestly say that I have been blessed so much while my son has been gone. The time has flown by! Knowing that there is no other place on this earth that I would rather he be has also helped. I was blessed with a great peace in my heart about a week before he left – I was given to know that he would not only be ok, but he would be a great missionary and would come back with an even stronger testimony.
Seeing your babies leave home is not easy, no matter where they are going – college, missions, etc. But trust that Heavenly Father loves them just as much as you do, and He will be there for them when you can’t be. It’s been wonderful to see my children grow stronger – and realize that I did alright afterall. Enjoy every moment of the next week!

January 29, 2014 - 3:15 pm

Nicole McBride Sampson - Bawling…

January 29, 2014 - 3:22 pm

Janie Ramirez - Reading that hurts!!! My babies are still small and I.cant.imagine!
His mission will make him stronger, and you stronger.

Take care Amy! Enjoy this next week together.

He’ll be safe, God is Good!

January 29, 2014 - 3:29 pm

Tamica Blowers Kenyon - Thanks for the cry!! I will pray for you. I have a great relationship with my children, and even if I didn’t it’d be so hard to see them go!!

January 29, 2014 - 3:41 pm

Debbie Warner Peterson - I feel for you. My boy turns 17 in March and I dread the passing of time. Lucky for me, he doesn’t want to go until he’s 19 and we are glad for it. The only thing that helps me come to terms with it is my own brother and his mission. He left a dough headed teenager and came back a mature, responsible man. He had the opportunity to grow in ways that I don’t think non mission serving kids get to. I know it’s easy for me to say, but maybe try to focus on the blessings, joy, growth and adventure that awaits him. You will be blessed for the sacrifice. And when that doesn’t help, there’s always chocolate. :)

January 29, 2014 - 3:44 pm

Kim Probst - will be thinking and praying for you both!

January 29, 2014 - 3:56 pm

Erika Briggs Guymon - Thinking of you! I know it won’t be easy…but you will be so blessed because of it. BTW: My nephew Zack Suwyn will be going on the same mission. He just had his farewell Sunday!!

January 29, 2014 - 4:13 pm

Marilyn Waters Thompson - You can do it. It is the hardest thing, and won’t get any easier with the other kids, but The Lord helps you through it. You will actually be closer than ever-you and The Lord and you and Jacob.

January 29, 2014 - 4:19 pm

Janis Gillrie - Amy, I am so proud to know you and to know your family and especially to know Jacob. He is such an outstanding young man who is more than ready to serve the Lord full time with all his heart, might, mind and strength. It is a sacrifice for you but as Zach Logan said in his homecoming talk to the Odessa ward, it will be a sacrifice for Jacob to come home in two years. I know you already know that and I know you are ready to do what must be done no matter how hard. My comforting wards to you are, ” it is a big step towards the ultimate blessings which of course are grandchildren.”

January 29, 2014 - 4:49 pm

Mary Beth Casey Miller - Because, as mothers, that’s what we do. We prepare them for flight, then nudge them out of the nest. That’s why God made women so strong! And, nights long, dark, solitude to hide our sorrow allows us to reflect, breathe and carry on for our job never ends…never.

January 29, 2014 - 6:12 pm

Kristin - You are a wonderful mother and you have raised a wonderful son. You are both part of each other – so, even tho you may be physically apart, that connection remains. Mother is just the hardest, most rewarding job there is. Praying for you.

January 29, 2014 - 6:25 pm

Amber Venema - Just reading this makes my heart hurt for you. Hug him like crazy these next few days. I’m sure he knows how much you love him and how much you will miss him. Just cherish these coming days and write lots of letters :) I will be thinking of you and sending you thoughts of strength when his time to leave comes.

January 29, 2014 - 11:34 pm

Trisha Berg Bartel - Can’t…..type…through…the….tears!!!

January 30, 2014 - 4:21 am

Jennilee Bergquist Fewkes - You can you can you can!! He will be fine, he will love it and you’ll love living through him!! Czech mission is the best trust me:). You can do it!!

January 31, 2014 - 5:23 am

Pam Jack Shoemaker - Amy, A very close friend of mine also has her son entering the MTC the same day. His name is Kyle Adams. I was also his first grade teacher. He will be going to Nebraska. The elder who was just transferred out of our ward wanted Jacob to know that his best friend is serving in the Czech Republic. His name is. cole Davis. This elder wants Jacob to know that Cole is the nicest person he has ever met. If he needs a friend have him look up Cole Davis. I think the feelings you are experiencing are very normal. After all, he is your first born and a very special young man.

February 1, 2014 - 6:42 am

Enchanted Rock | The Big Blue Bus Tour » Simply b Photos - […] last few days I’ve been overwhelmed by emotion. After my last blog post (the one in which I broke down about Jacob leaving), I was so grateful for each and every response that we received. We have so many wonderful friends […]

February 17, 2014 - 3:28 am

Todd Galbraith - Our son, Alec Galbraith, is in Jacob’s district. Small world! I just sent you an email message with a photo.

April 9, 2014 - 11:12 pm

Kathy P - I just did this today. I thought I would be a huge sobbing mess. However, I hugged him tight, told him in his bag was something special (I had some men in his life write him letters to read about his mission) gave him a huge smile and waved him off down the escalator, then ran over to the other side of the airport to look down as he then boarded his plane. I think someone must have been praying hard over me as I felt calm, it all felt like a normal everyday thing. 9 hours later, and even after sitting in his room, Im good, no tears. My hubby thinks Im broken lol You can do it Sister xXx

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