Sunday, August 24, 2014

Nathaniel's farewell

Grandpa, Nathaniel & I
I have the greatest Grandpa. 
I'm so glad my kids have been able to know him.
(That's not a ponytail. It's John behind me on the swing. Don't think for a second he didn't know what he was doing.)

This is the majority of family we had there. (Grandpa had left to go home teaching.) We weren't expecting any out of town family until Peter's sister Sally and her husband Michael made a surprise visit Friday night. 

It was a double farewell and Sacrament Meeting was packed because the other boy (Jackson) is a popular kid and has a massive amount of family and friends that came. The chapel and whole cultural hall was full and there was people standing in the back. We have seen a whole lot of farewells in this ward since moving here over seven years ago and I don't know that I've ever seen it more full than this. As they were sitting up there on the stand looking out on the enormous crowd a jittery Jackson turned to Nathaniel and said, "Man, I hope I don't throw up all over my face." That's funny for a number of reasons.
Our complete family & friends only took up about two rows:)

My cousin Sean and his daughter got cut out of the picture to the right so I had to put this one in instead:

The tears started for me as soon as I sat down in the chapel. The first hymn was solemn and slow and just not conducive to holding it together. Why can't they have a nice peppy song to kick things off when there are two mom's sitting in the audience about to say goodbye to their sons? 

It is such a strange feeling sitting in a missionary farewell for your own child. Such a joyful and monumental event. You know your child is closing the door on one chapter of his life and opening a whole new one. I know this brings up a lot of memories for Peter of leaving for his own mission and he's thinking about what an incredible experience this is going to be for Nathaniel and feeling so grateful to see it. All those feelings mixed with the anticipation and preparation for this event come together for some pretty bittersweet tears for both Peter and I as we sat there.

 Mason & Nathaniel

 Lucky Nancy got to sit next to me in Sacrament Meeting

With two of his Young Men leaders
Brother John and Brother Marcum.

The whole meeting was great and Nathaniel did an awesome job on his talk. I had managed to pull myself together by the time he started talking and was doing ok until he made his last remark thanking his parents and especially his mom because he knows she doesn't get a lot of the appreciation she deserves. Well that did it for me and then they closed the meeting with "Called to Serve."
(My eyes. They are sore.)
Lots of hugs from good friends as I left. I'm so blessed.

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