Monday, December 26, 2011

A Skyped Christmas

My very first Christmas withOUT all my children...and for me, it was not wonderful. The presents were just presents, the lights were sort of dull, ... The day was pleasant, don't get me wrong. I always love Christmas and it was nice seeing the kids so excited and buzzing with giggles. I just miss Manti, and not having his smile lighting the room too was just hard. His job is turning on the Christmas tree lights before anything else starts, and he wasn't here to do his job. It was hard on my heart.

We had John here, Mesa's new fiance. He hadn't had a Christmas like ours before, so it was nice seeing him become involved with our tradition of family. Still,...John isn't Manti and doesn't fill his shoes. Church started at 9am, and our little boys sang with the choir. So we all went to church and I carried my cell phone in my bra just in case Manti called. You better believe I would have walked out of church to answer a call from him! He didn't call during church though. I stopped by his missionary plaque and stared at his sweet face. I managed not to cry...much. We went home and changed our clothes...till nothing from Manti. We collected gifts for Tommy's brother and got the kids in the car.....and then my phone rang! It was a text message. My phone can receive notes sent by email if you use the right address, and a couple times Manti has done that when he needed to get a note to me NOW instead of waiting for me to get online and just find his note. I thought that's what this was, ....i was so excited I just didn't think. Turns out, THAT was his phone and he was literally texting me! He said it would be an hour or so and he would be on skype. I was a mess waiting for the clock to tick by. His one hour turned into two and I couldn't handle it. I sent him a text message and just had question marks in it. His companion got that message and he got Manti up. Turns out, Manti fell asleep!!!! He got on the computer, and I got to see my boys face.
Isn't he precious? We talked for a bit and laughed together. He told us about families there that he has grown to love. We got to see and talk with his companion (who is a great person!) and we saw our boy as a completely different person. He has depth beyond what he had before. He has experienced some miracles that warmed my heart and opened my eyes. He has been shown that friends here at home love him too...something that surprised him. He knew he was liked...but loved? He grew a bit just from that new knowledge.
Tommy and I experienced a measure of joy just "being" with our beloved son.

And when the time came to hang up, I couldn't do it. I cried, Tommy cried, Mesa cried,.... and I told Manti he would have to hang up first. He couldn't figure it out at first and it made me smile through the tears. I finally told him how, he did it and he was gone. I went to pieces then. I cried probably harder than I did at the airport. I'm not even sure why I cried! I am so proud of him. I'm so happy for him. I am so excited about all he's doing and experiencing. I miss him so much.

It's now the next day, and I'm still leaking from my eyes. When I can get my thoughts together and my words clearer, I'll write more about the things we talked about. The bitter sweetness is hard to explain,...but maybe you feel it in your own way.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Mission Begins

I have a hard time writing this blog now. I've had it brought to my attention that I am walking around in some state of depression and I kinda have to admit that to myself as well. If I look at myself closely, I see it too. I don't like it, and it's not helping anybody. So I hope I can find my way out of the darkness by actively trying. If not, somebody just bring a flashlight :)

So I think everybody who reads this blog (all 2 of you lol) have heard by now about the lady who lives in Utah and has a son serving in the same mission territory as Manti. She has been my "go to" person with all my questions and has helped me through confusion, fears, and some tears. She's also made efforts to bring me smiles. Well, the day Manti got there, he was met by her son, who was kind enough to get a picture of the two of them made for me, and then he emailed it the next P-day. Wasn't that nice of him?