Here’s what really happened. We go through the airport, check the bags, the agent wouldn’t give me a pass to go through security, so we decide to wait outside of security until maybe a ½ hour before the plane is scheduled to leave. We talk. I ask her what she’s hoping to gain and learn, and I let her know that she is an awesome daughter. She is awesome. It’s time to say good-bye. I have been dreading it for a while, naturally. I mean, who likes to say good-byes anyways, especially when you’re not going to see them for a LONG time? I’m holding it together pretty good, up until this point. I’ve had my teary sessions, but not the ‘ugly’ cry. But then I just let my heart go ‘there’, you know that place where you think about how much you really love them, and how much they really mean to you, and I’m just doing whatever I can to hold it together. Madison and I are close. I’ve called her my angel-straight-from-heaven ever since she was a baby. And she is.
Anyways, we ask the security guys to take our picture, the LAST picture, and they say well only if you smile, and I just totally lose it! I mean the ugly – terribly ugly – cry. They’re like, whoa, you guys saying good-bye for a while, and I’m just blubbering incoherently. Then just like that, we say good-bye and my sweet girl is off. She’s ready, but I am going to really miss her! I watch her go through security, she doesn’t look back, which is exactly what Blake did when he left. One good-bye is enough, right? So I walk away when I can’t see her anymore, go down the escalators, and realize I didn’t give her ‘the letter’. ‘The letter’ is the one I sneak into their bag for them to open. It’s the letter that tells them how much I love them and stuff like that. I sorta freak out, and run back to the ticketing booth, and tell them I have to get this letter to my daughter. Tears streaming down my face, they’re asking when her plane leaves. Then that sweet agent looks down and says, “You have time, here’s a pass.” So I go through security, RUN through the airport, cause she needs this letter. It’s not only my letter, but the younger kids letters too. Heidi’s flowers are colored and stuff. They’re calling the last boarding call at the furthest gate… she’s boarded… but that next sweet agent says, “I’ll go give it to her.” I wait, she comes out and tells me it’s delivered. And I leave. And I cry some more and everyone is staring at me but I could care less. That is how it really happened. I will be fine, but I need a few days to adjust… without her. I’ve talked to her almost every day for the last 22 years.
But… I know she will grow, and become even more amazing, and that when she gets home I will be so thankful that she went. Because there’s some things in life, that cannot be learned the easy way. She will learn, she will learn so much. She will gain so much. She will give so much to the Brazilian people. They will love her. She will gain depth in her life that will be gained purely because she decided to go on a mission. Of that I am sure. And it will make her life all the sweeter. And when her life is sweeter, so is mine.
So there it is… my raw emotions.