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.
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.