(I wrote this chapter several weeks ago, and even as I sit here, David and Jolene are at the airport in a distant city. In one hour and 15 minutes, they will be flying back to their field of service. I dedicate this to them, and to all the David’s and their moms.)
I watched carefully the Van ahead of me, because David, my son was driving. He and his family were en route to the airport, from where he would be flying abroad in a few hours. As I drove along, tears filled my eyes: I would soon be separated from my son, not only for the next ten days, but from him, Jolene, and my four grandchildren, as they would soon be returning to their mission field. Two years will then separate us.
And I wondered…did I miss it? Did I miss the fun times we’ve had together? Did I miss your smile, and the way you walk, and the look in your eyes as you hold your newborn son?
Am I too busy with my own thoughts of how I’m going to meet deadlines, and make reservations, to notice how smart you are? Will I look back and wonder what was the punch line of the joke you told me Thursday?
Did I miss the meaning of your coming into my room before daylight every morning while I was reading my Bible, like you did when you were a little boy? Or will I remember my mind wandering to the list of things to do while you were sharing your plans of the day with me?
Did I miss it? Did I miss your grin when I sped out of the hotel parking lot, when I was supposed to be following you? And your call, “Mom, we’re still at the hotel.” Did I miss the humor of the moment, or being annoyed because I messed up our travel plans? The joy of the moment is what I have learned to be thankful for.
The joy of knowing you’re on your way to a challenging adventure…not the worrying about your safety and protection. I’ll cast that on the Lord, and just think of your desire to serve Him.
I’ll bask in the joy of knowing the supreme sacrifice you’re making to be away from your family. I’ll feel, at the same time, pride and peace.
I won’t miss it any more, from this day forward. I’ll put aside my fears, and my doubts, and my computer, and my phone, and learn to bask in the sunshine, and feel the coziness of being snowed in.
I’ll not complain about things like electronics, and delayed flights, and missed appointments. I’ll condition myself to just enjoy leisurely long afternoon naps, and dessert and coffee, and noisy grandbabies.
I won’t miss it anymore. Who cares that I never get online ever again, if I can keep the lines of communication open between you and me. I’ll not miss the honor of being your mother, and the peace of knowing that you can share your burdens as well as your plans for the future. I’ll not miss that anymore.
It may be too late to bring back lost joys. It may be too long to remember the story you told me while I was concentrating on my shopping list.
But there’s today. And this evening when you call me to tell me, “Mom, I’m fixing to board my plane,” I’ll take off my glasses so I can see your face across the miles, and imagine your smile and your excitement as you once again embark on another adventure, serving the Lord.
I don’t know what the future holds. But I want to share the dream you’re dreaming now, of souls you’re dreaming will be saved.
I’ll miss you these next few days, and after that the next two years.
But I won’t ever again miss the moments we share, and I’ll read over and over your e-mails, and your articles, and I’ll hold on to your words.
Your little-boy-days are gone, and I wonder, “Did I miss it? Your jeans got washed, but did I notice the domino-stacks of old cassette tapes you’d line up around the legs of the dining table, down the hall, and then topple the first one over to watch them fall for miles in your imagination?
Like the toppling tapes, that’s how swiftly those little-boy years have gone by. You don’t dream about toy cars any more. Your dreams hold a more significant meaning: the destiny of souls.
So although I’ll miss you, and Jolene, and the babies, I’ll not miss remembering all the precious memories we’ve made together these past four months, and those that are still in the making.
I miss you and love you more than life.
Mom, Nahum 1:7