|Elder Jeshua Harker @ the MTC|
Bags were packed and loaded. We loaded up the family and headed down the road. Just a mere three hours left with the oldest child in the family. And he slept most of the way there. I'm sure that this was his coping mechanism to deal with the stress and nervousness of the past few
days weeks months. You know, preparing to serve a mission has a lot of steps. A lot more than one would realize (especially for a T1D missionary). Multiple medical exams, dental exams, vision exams. So much paperwork to fill out and submit. So many personal interviews with leadership. Wow. Just such an intense process. And then there's all the other preparations: packing, shopping, and more packing.
So we drove down the road with a carload of goodbye tension. The oldest daughter wanted to play car games to ease the tension, just nobody else seemed to be into that.
Two hours into our three hour drive Jeshua exclaims, "Crap!" Since I happened to be driving through mid-morning traffic in Salt Lake City, Utah at the time this was more than alarming. "I forgot my insulin." Well. Now that presents a difficulty. It's one thing to forget a minor object left behind, but the one thing that actually keeps you alive, well that's a whole other story. Good for Jesh he had refilled his pump the night before and had three days worth of insulin on him. We decided to just overnight his medication to him.
Arriving in Provo we went to lunch at the Brick Oven. Yummo! Awesome place to eat AND they comp'ed Jeshua's meal (in honor of his missionary service). I think it's a typical missionary send off restaurant, cuz there were lots of missionaries there having their send off lunch. Jeshua has a friend from the neighborhood that moved to Provo, and John met us for lunch. At first I was a little peaved about sharing my last few hours, but it ended up being such a good thing for us. John being with us helped to relieve some of that good by tension.
I had a schedule worked out
12-12:40 pictures at Provo temple
but lunch ended up taking longer than planned (12:30!) and so we had less time to take pictures at the temple...this I'm sure did NOT bother Jeshua (the boy hates pictures!) but I told him I was gonna get a few, even if we had to be late to our 12:45 MTC appointment. So we got over to the temple (12:40ish), parked across the street, ran through the parking lot, snapped a few (maybe 5) pics of the boy, the boy with his sisters, the boy with his dad, and the boy with both parents. Then we ran back across the street, jumped back in the car (this is when the sisters gave him their g'bye hugs) and pulled onto the MTC property AT 12:45. Ha! I win the time battle.
As we pull up a flock of missionaries come out to help (we weren't the only arrivees) and a certain elder comes to our car to assist with our luggage. I pull the luggage out as Jesh and his dad hug good bye. Then I get a hug from my boy--the last one for TWO years, mind you. And then he starts to walk away. I ask Aaron pull out his phone and make Jeshua stop and turn for one last picture. And then he's gone. He walks away, without even looking back. (as it should be, but still!)