The End of the Best Two Years....
It all began on October 7th. I received a surprise phone call from my son, Elder Brandon Moore. It was a surprise since he is only suppose to call home on Mother's Day and Christmas while serving his mission. As it turns out, he had a physical problem and was letting me know he would probably returning home sooner than his December 2010 release date. The following evening, the mission president's wife called to tell me basically the same thing. I spent the weekend wondering what exactly would be the consensus as to when he would fly back to Utah. Monday afternoon the mission president called to let me know I could pick my son up the next evening at the Salt Lake airport.I flew into action.
First of all, I was sure the mission president didn't know that I had moved to Southern Utah. I had to prepare to make the trip up there, see if I could arrange for him to have his homecoming the following Sunday in our old ward, and figure out how to get Brooklyn out of school on finals week without it hurting her grades too much. Also, I did not have Brandon's room prepared for him. Oh well, some things would have to wait.
That Tuesday we headed up to Salt Lake. I don't know who was more nervous, me or his girlfriend Amber who had been waiting for him for two years. We were lucky enough to have two of our friends who have airline ties sneak up to the gate and give us a play-by-play as he walked out of the gate and began his trek to baggage claim. I must admit, as I saw him coming down the escalator, I was shreiking with joy, jumping up and down clapping and excited that I could finally hug and kiss my baby boy. It was a wonderful moment.
After leaving the airport we headed to the Stake President's office to have him released. President Dibble did the honors. It was heartbreaking watching Elder Moore remove his missionary tag...the same one I had placed on him 22 months earlier at the mtc.
We followed up that meeting with a family dinner at Chili's. It was impossible for me to keep my eyes off of him. I loved watching him interact with Amber, I loved listening to his voice. I loved just having him back in my world.
We stayed the next 6 days at Brett, Cheryl and Brynlee Bishop's home They were so kind to us. They decorated the yard with posters and balloons, left notes and candy on our pillows, and encouraged us to have an Open House after his Homecoming talk.
That Sunday he gave a wonderful homecoming talk, testifying of Jesus Christ. He taught so many things I had never thought about before. It is a marvelous experience to be taught the gospel by your children.
We returned to La Verkin. I was anxious and excited to show Brandon the new home I had purchased and remodeled. I hoped he would like it, and even though he would only be staying temporarily, that he could feel like it was home to him.
We spent the next week fighting to get his medical records faxed from Nebraska to the surgeon here. We didn't want him to have to go through the same testing he had already had done there. They finally arrived and his surgery was scheduled for October 27.
Because Brandon had a few days before the surgery he asked to borrow my car and head up to Logan to spend a few days with Amber. I was carless for about 4 days, but since I am a homebody, and the grocery store and church are within walking distance, I knew I would survive. I spent my homebound weekend studying for my BYU Humanities final...which I passed, barely :)
Brandon arrived back in time to celebrate his birthday on October 26th. He is now 21. Ginger and her kiddos and Grandma and Papa joined us for the cupcake festivities. It was low key, but right up our alley considering we didn't have much time to prepare and Brandon wasn't feeling all that great. He had lost 20 lbs. in the previous 6 weeks due to his illness, so he didn't have that much of an appetite.
The next day we headed out to Dixie Regional Medical Center for the surgery. The actual surgery only lasted 1 hour, but the before and after lasted a total of six. We returned home to begin the recovery.
For the last week Brandon has gained 7 lbs., moved around a wee bit, but mostly just camped out on the couch. He sleeps there, he watches tv there, he texts there, he plays on the computer there, he takes pictures from there. It is really quite comical although it is also quite necessary. His recovery is a 4 week recovery. He is hoping he can return to Salt Lake at the end of the month to begin working and spending more time with Amber.
It has been a whirlwind of activity, but I have treasured it. There is nothing like having your son gone for two years and then having him in your presence and all to your self 24/7 for 4 weeks. Blessings can always be found if we take the time to look for them.