Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Year Less

This morning while we were all getting ready to go to Levi's soccer game, we turned on the TV to listen to the beginning of General Conference. While I was making my bed, I heard President Monson announce that, effective immediately, young men were eligible to go on missions at age eighteen instead of having to wait until nineteen. Tick, tick, tick, it dawns on me that this means Roscoe will likely leave for his mission this summer. In just a few months.

For a couple years now I've been on a conscientious program to gradually prepare myself for Roscoe leaving on his mission. For the day I pull into the MTC driveway, drop him off, and drive away not to lay eyes upon him again for two years. No matter how much I love the gospel and cherish the beautiful image of Roscoe growing the testimonies of himself and others, this is a hard pill for a loving mama to swallow.

We had thought that he would graduate this spring, go to college--probably here in Utah--for a whole year, then go on his mission the following summer. And we've been counting down, cherishing each of the months he lives under our roof, imagining him coming home for movie parties and laundry-thons on weekends. We've always known that our family's time as a complete whole--with both Roscoe and Betsy on scene--would be precious and short.

And now it's a whole year shorter.

Within seconds of hearing President Monson's announcement, I began to sob. I cried and cried and cried. I just couldn't stop. We just lost Roscoe! I kept thinking. The tears flowed and flowed. And I decided to let them. Let's just get a bunch of this out of the way, I thought. It was the good kind of crying, the kind that lets a wave of sadness come out and have its moment in the sun before melting away.

About forty minutes later, we seriously needed to get out the door to that soccer game. So I crawled out of the corner (literally), washed my face, and headed out the door. Much to my relief--and that of my confused family--I was better. Ready to start scheming and planning and getting excited about what's before Roscoe. As the day has progressed, I've started to feel about the imminence of Roscoe's mission the way I always have about the imminence of a new baby: That this is a much-needed impetus for our family to take it to a higher level. This is an opportunity to do more of what we believe is most important in life.

The crazy thng is that Roscoe's out of town for the weekend. We haven't talked to him about any of this at all! I'm thinking it's a good thing he wasn't here to witness what shall surely be known among the Qshurst-McGee children as The Day Mom Totally Lost It for No Reason We Could Discern Whatsoever.

Sabbath Update:
As the initial shock was worn off and we've had a lovely General Conference weekend, it's been a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our family and gospel service. I still feel the make-our-family-better push like I feel when I find out I'm pregnant. And I also feel a lot like I do when Mark or I gets a new calling: That we are doing something that is good and that our Heavenly  Father wants us to do, and so as a result God's hand and support will be over us. I feel a sweet confirmation of the rightness of Roscoe's mission, and the assurance that blessings are in store for our family. We've also received sweet phone calls from lots of family members excited for Roscoe.


  1. I had the exact same reaction for the exact same reason! It meant my daughter could go on a mission in 2.5 years. I had plans in my head too and suddenly she is leaving so much early. Just like you I know this is for a reasons and I can see the benefits for it. But I sure wasn't prepared!

  2. I think your children may not get your reaction now - but some day they'll think back on it and be able to see the love that was pouring out of you with each sob.
    My heart breaks a little on your behalf. But I am 100% sure that Roscoe will be the very best sort of missionary. I'm excited on the worlds behalf.

  3. I just wish my mama heart was as soft as yours Angela! I was excited by the missionary news, thinking "Nathan can go right after high school! He won't have to break up his education to before and after the mission!" He will graduate in 2014. Tyler has already graduated but will stick with his plan to leave after he turns 19 because he is still saving money for it and he also will be taking Accutane until next Spring.

  4. I'm counting on no one who knows me reading this comment any time soon:
    As I reread this today I came across the lines about "the make-our-family-better push like I feel when I find out I'm pregnant" and I feel that I need some of that feeling! I don't get that feeling at all! I get much more of the "Our life will be total crap for about a year and then I'll have a brain and be able to parent again" feeling. I must ponder how to feel more of your feeling and less of mine.