I had a quiet sad few moments today. Aaron had breakfast with his cousins and Adam, Heidi and Claire, then he blew in for a few moments and we sat on his bed, getting his clothes ready to pack. I put his initials on all his shirts and underwear, as Moms do, and he opened some of the things we’ve purchased for his mission–an alarm clock, a micro-fiber towel, thermal underwear, a first aid kit, pens and notebooks, a laundry bag, a electricity converter, bed sheets, some new ties, laundry pens for stains on white shirts, and a small stack of books including his scriptures.
Then he was off again to some more good byes as I finished my labeling job and I went downstairs in our empty home, missing him already. How do Moms do this, I wonder. I sat at the table, looking out on the snow-filled back yard, and tried not to feel sad.
Comfort food would help, so I prepared a bowl of soup and grabbed a spoon from the drawer. The spoon I grabbed happened to be one of 3 old spoons I salvaged from my mother’s kitchen when she died. They were spoons she’d also saved from years before–spoons she and my Dad had when they were first married. Their silverware was simple and functional, purchased in the late 1950s. The soup spoons were my favorite as a child, and today as I looked at their perfect shape, floods of memories and feelings washed through me.
This spoon, I thought, has been in use longer than I have been. It’s seen family members come and family members go. It’s fed thousands and thousands of bites to those I’ve loved for more than 55 years. For some reason, that brought me great comfort. It felt stable, strong and sure to me, a constant something that I have returned home to many many times during my life and travels. That old simple silver spoon seemed to say to me, “Ann, it’s all good. He will go, but he will be back again someday. And when he comes, I will be here, and there will be a bowl of soup waiting, and all will be well. It always has been.”
Strange how that brought peace to my heart on this lonely winter day as I prepared things for his suitcase and did a last load of his laundry, wondering how I will tuck my son in for the last time tonight.