Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done.

Mark left for his mission on the 16th of December. We had to wake up very early because his flight was scheduled to leave at 7AM. Mark was set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This name tag will be on his lapel or shirt for the next two years.
Printing off Marks boarding pass....
Checking his luggage.....
After visiting for about a half an hour, it was time for Mark to go to his gate. We couldn't go to the gate with him. This was the spot we would say our good bye's.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done to say good bye to him.
There were many tears.
We told Mark we would be in this same spot waiting for him in two years.
A last goofy wave....
And off he goes.....
We watched him until we couldn't see him anymore.....
We are so glad Makenzie's best friend Malia was here to share this with us. She is a great support for Makenzie. We love her.
Thanks Justin for taking all the pictures. We love you, too!

23 comments:

Felicia said...

I don't really have anything to say. It will all be worth it.

I have eleven more years with my oldest, and it doesn't seem long enough.

My college roommate's brother is going to Congo, and he left yesterday as well. Maybe they'll cross path's in the MTC.

Kris said...

Lovely photos. It really will go so quickly!

Suzanne said...

I haven't stopped by for a long time...I hope you don't mind me commenting on this personal family post. I just wanted you to know that I can relate to all those touching and beautiful photos and the words. My five sons have served missions (one is currently serving in northern California). I understand your heartache and joy. I'm so happy for you and your family (especially your son) because our family has experienced the blessings that come from this kind of service and I know you & yours will too. Merry Christmas! ;o)

Kindra said...

I'm tearing up here...I hope your son has a safe trip. What an awesome adventure he is taking! You must be so proud!

Gail said...

I totally got tears in my eyes. Thanks for sharing with us. He will be a great missionary and your family will be blessed.

Thimbleanna said...

Oh, now I'm all tear-y. Good Luck to your Mark -- and to you too!

Pennee said...

I know you are feeling so many things right now, joy, absence, a little worry, and everything in between, but I promise you, he will be alright and not a day will go by where your family and Mark will not be blessed. The mission president will take good care of him, especially his safety and health. His companions will watch out for him and he will be fine.
Remember, the Lord is literally his companion in Spirit every day and all will be well.
We love and miss you. Please keep us updated. Don't forget to breathe! Merry Christmas.
Love, Pennee and family xox

Linda said...

With tears in my eyes I type this. Any time you need some cheering up, or support, we are here for you. I will be keeping you all in my prayers!! Lots of hugs, Linda

Amanda said...

You must have such mixed feelings at the moment, though I'm sure sadness is uppermost. Two years will go quickly, but it sounds like such a long time at the moment doesn't it? You'll feel better once you know that he has arrived safely, then you can live the adventure with him through his letters and calls. My best wishes to you and your family for a happy Christmas.

Kim said...

That made me cry! Having gone through it myself all those mixed feelings of Joy and Anxiety made me remember what you're going through. Just know that it WILL be Okay! Time will eventually pick up and before you know it, he'll be home. Wow!

Gettysburg Homestead said...

Oh Jo-Anne I'll say a few extra prayers for you and Mark. He is walking with the Lord and so are you. Tears are OK trust me. I had shed many here recently. LOL.

Mary

Tomatoe Creek Prims said...

I know how you feel...Michael only went to Maryland... but he will be fine God loves him and is so happy to have him:)
Take care,
Rondell

Tomatoe Creek Prims said...

I know how you feel...Michael only went to Maryland... but he will be fine God loves him and is so happy to have him:)
Take care,
Rondell

Anonymous said...

My daughters inlaws just came back from an 18 month
mission in Germany.
All 4 of their kids have been on a mission and back!
This is one incredible family.
The time does go by fast.
Pamela from Ohio

familywithfivekids said...

I have been checking and checking for this post. My heart goes out to all of you. He will do such great things.

lindanuts said...

know it doesn't really compare, but my oldest son moved to California when he was 17. He is now 36 and all but 2 of those years have been spent out west with Las Vegas being his home for 10. He has a son (7) that we haven't seen for 2 years. He's not a missionary or even vaguely religiously inspired. He was just searching for his own calling and it wasn't here in Iowa. We share blogs and phone calls and miss each other like crazy and everytime we visit, we are brought to tears.
Your son has a strong calling to serve something other than his own purpose. I am proud of my son for searching to find waht is right for him and I am very sure that you are proud of Mark for heeding His call. He will be so much stronger and more mature for having taken this plunge. The time really will pass quickly; maybe even too quickly. You will hear from him and you will marvel at his accomplishments. And the homecoming will be so sweet.....
My prayers tonight are for Mark!

Julie said...

That brings back vivid memories of when we said good-bye to my brothers as they each left for a mission--my Mom called it "Miserable Joy"... I still got that lump in my throat as I read your post. Which MTC will Mark go to? I wish him and you the best--you all will be so blessed!! Take care--Julie

This Country Girl said...

Okay, Jo-Anne, I have tears streaming down my face! From one mother to another, I can just imagine how you must feel. I will keep him in my prayers! He's in wonderful hands...and I know that's your comfort too! :)

Thanks for sharing your family moment with us!

A big hug to you,
Tammy

Lauriej said...

Lots and lots of tears here in Orem! Your girls faces just made my heart about break! I can't imagine the pride you feel though. You are an amazing mom with fabulous kids!!!

lera said...

Sending hugs your way.


I have tears in my eyes just imagining how it will feel in seven years when my oldest goes. I remember the day he was born I was so sad and crying thinking he would leave me in 19 years to serve a mission. It breaks my heart to think of sending out my five young men some day. In a good way, of course.

(I remember vividly the day my brother left for his mission and the day he returned. It was 14 years on 12/15.)

Brandy said...

The photo of your daughter with tears running down her face is just heart wrenching! Think how happy you will be in that same spot in 2 years when he returns!

Shumaker Family said...

Jo-Anne, I love you. Thank you for sharing the blog with us. I have done this a number of times (we had 9/10 kids in my family go on missions). It definitely is hard and yet amazing blessings. Thank you for sharing his first email with me. I love you and miss you. Keep us updated.

Andrea said...

It's been awhile since I've spent some time peeking in on blogs. Now I'm in tears and wishing I could wrap you up in big warm hug that will do nothing to heal the empty spot you feel but would at least let you know I think you, Mark and your famiy are wonderful!!