Monday, September 5, 2011

Update: Being a Missionary's Mom

This missionary thing.

It's fantastic.
Letters come from your child, and you can see that he is transitioning from child to man.
Letters come from your child, and you witness his developing character and independent belief system.
Letters come from your child, and you bask in his successes and chortle at his humor.

It's hard.
Sometimes I just want to hear him laugh--really laugh. And T laughs loud. Or listen to him singing to his guitar or ukelele or the piano.
Sometimes I just want to see him. I want to watch him tickle his baby sister or lightsaber fight his brothers.
Sometimes I just want to hug him. Tucker gives a signature hug.
Sometimes I just want to smell him. T's smell? A mixture of Axe, soap, and Tide.
Sometimes I just want to talk with him. Tucker would always tell me things--things most moms and sons wouldn't discuss.

Sometimes it seems like such a sacrifice to give him up completely to the Lord's service, not talking to him, not skyping him, not counseling him, not visiting him.

Luckily, most of the time this mission thing is a blessing. I love hearing his little brothers and sisters pray for him--for his safety, for his happiness and health, for his success, for him to know we love him. I love getting his letters, waiting every Monday for an email from "Tucker Denton." I love it, truly. I see blessings in our lives daily from his service, and I try to express my gratitude for these blessings.

I had a friend tell me, just before Tucker left, that it would be so much harder to send Hyrum because I would know all the impossibly hard things about missionary service--the difficult companions, the aching emptiness of my heart. I can see what she means already.

It's the hardest thing I've ever wanted to do. And I'd do it again, in a second.  And three more missionaries after this one, if I'm lucky.
112 days down.

Who's counting?

His latest letter is here.


  1. As hard as I'm sure this is, I would feel secure in the knowledge that he is on God's business and therefore even more so protected. I'm going to be looking to you asking for sound advice soon enough.
    By the me with your address, I bought your tee shirt, now I need to know where to send it.

  2. I look at my guy sometimes and my heart tightens thinking about sending him off. But I remember the absolute gift my mission was to me -- the hardest 18 mo. of my life up until that point (mommyhood beats it now, I think) that changed me in ways that I never would have known how to pray for.

    Congratulations on your amazing son!

  3. He IS singular and wonderful. I can see missing all those things about him. At least you get email, which seems a bit more like "instant" gratification.

  4. Amen to all of it. Minus the "mom" point of view. :) I'm going to have to switch my letter binder out for a bigger one soon... Just think. November is only 2 months away. And that'll be 1/4!

  5. For me the first holidays without him were the worst. After December 25th this year I think you are homefree!!!

  6. Tucker is definitely one of a kind. I, too, have fond memories of all the things you mentioned and your blog today gave me a bittersweet smile. I miss him too.

  7. I related so much to this...especially just wanting to hug and yes, even smell them.

    What is more joyful than anything imaginable is the day they come home. And the way you just cannot stop looking at them, touching them, drinking them in. Pure happiness.


  8. I can tell how much you miss him!
    hugs to you!!

  9. Thanks for the post. I have a 16 year old. We are converts. I wonder how I will cope if he chooses to go. (I hope so.) This means a lot to me.

  10. I loved being a missionary mom to my oldest two--we truly were blessed as a family. Hoping we send out another missionary this winter!

  11. It's interesting reading about your experience as a mom of a Missionary especially since I don't think I will ever get to experience it myself. The way that you write about missing Tucker does mirror a lot of the same sentiments that I hear from friends who have brothers or sons that have been sent to war overseas (though Tucker is in a much safer place). I can't imagine what it would feel like if I have to send E to a far away place and not hear her voice or see her on a regular basis.

    Hang in there! 122 days is less than half a year, right?

  12. I'm counting! Only 593 days until Dallin comes home!

  13. my roomate at byuidaho had one of those daily sticker boards for the missionary she was waiting for. we all loved putting the stickers up and counting down for her. didn't work out, but still a fun college memory!