July 15, 2009

Best Two Years

Jake is four years younger than me and my second brother. When we were young, the boy drove me crazy. Seriously, I think he lived to make life hard for everyone, including himself. He wouldn't eat, he would always always be the one in trouble, and he would do exactly the opposite of anything I wanted him to do. He could certainly be cute when he wanted to be but he held it back, bringing it out only for special occasions.

When I was in college and he was in high school, we finally started becoming friends. I would come home to visit, I spent a couple summers living at home, and then finally he was at college too. Somehow, particularly in the last two years, we got to be so close. He grew up into a funny, smart, kind brother who wanted to come hang out and tell me about his girl problems. We're the best of friends.

Last night I watched this terrorizing little boy turned charming young man be set apart as a missionary. I've been so nervous for him, as he prepared to leave me and spend two years in Estonia (where I'm quite sure he won't like the food). What if he gets lonely or scared? What if it's too hard? On and on, I kept up these thoughts, mainly because I'm selfish and really, I just wanted to keep him. When Ryan went on his mission two years ago, it was a new experience to send out a brother and it was exciting. Plus Ryan has always been so level-headed that I don't think he even broke a sweat. But my poor Jake is a sensitive guy (yes, ladies, start getting on my good side now if you want a chance in two years) and I've been quite nervous for him. Or for me. I'm not quite sure which dominated.

Then, as I listened to the blessing from the stake president, wow. Wow, wow, wow. My little friend (who is 6'4") has great things ahead of him and he will be quite cared for. And so will I. I'm not losing a brother, I'm gaining an even better brother for this experience. I'm so grateful for that sweet feeling of peace and gratitude as Jake joined the ranks of faithful boys everywhere and became Elder. The Church is true and what else really compares to that?


Betty 7/20/09, 9:15 AM  

You'll be a great missionary mom.

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