Through the whole preparation process my game plan was to just focus on one thing at a time. I tried not to look to far ahead or think to much about him leaving and for the most part this worked pretty well except for an occasional quick bout of tears that would sneak out of no where!
For me I think one of the biggest things I have struggled with isn't so much about him leaving but about the reality of our family dynamic changing. I have enjoyed my kids more than I ever thought possible. Although things aren't always perfect, for the most part they are really good we all get along and have A LOT of fun together. Braydon graduating and leaving for a mission is just the first step to things changing. It will be a snow ball effect, for as soon as he returns Kiley will be headed to college and so on. I do know this is reality, this is what is suppose to happen but I am not ready. It snuck up way to fast!! If I could freeze time and keep them all where they are for a couple more years I would DO IT!!
Still feeling like distraction and keeping busy is the best medicine I started orientation Thursday (the day after he left) for a pool nursing job and then worked Friday. We were pretty sure Monday would be P-day for Braydon in the MTC, I was also warned that it is entirely possible that I may not hear from him at all due to the influx of missionaries. Again reminded that this adventure is a true test of faith and patience. So Friday as I am busy, busy at work for some crazy reason I check my email and find my very first email from him!! I very nearly squealed out loud, I may have possibly even done a back flip!! Elder Perkins sounded AMAZING, he was loving the MTC and wasn't the least bit homesick!! It was so reassuring and great to hear from him. I spent Saturday and Sunday frantically getting the girls ready for girls camp. Monday morning I dropped the girls of at the church for camp. Talk about an emotional week. After being released from my young womens calling in May I no longer had an assignment for camp, that along with trying to recover from a CHAOTIC summer, and starting a new job I felt like I needed to sit this one out, but talk about feeling like a fish out of water. I have gone to camp for the last 12 years straight!! I love it and look forward to it every year! That afternoon was my first day of just being still. It was only Keat and I left at home. Quiet, WAY to quiet. Those emotions were far to quickly surfacing. Again with the tender mercies and perfect timing, when I checked the mail that afternoon we had received our first letter and in addition I received a sweet letter from the mission Presidents wife. One more amazing blessing has been the communication with other missionary moms experiencing the safe things all at various stages. From the friends here at home to the others all over with kids serving in the same mission. It is so comforting.