16 May 2015


Kind of home (baggage claim doesn't really count)
It was funny how time seemed to sail by in between our weekly communications as TMFKATB served in Mexico. When we learned about ten days ago that he would be returning home for medical reasons, time all but came to a standstill.

Since his return this past Monday night, time marches on, albeit slowly. His return was an understated affair. None of the over-the-top shenanigans any of you who have passed through the Salt Lake City International Airport have most certainly seen. No videographer, no posters or balloons, no play-in music, no throngs of acolytes. Just two mildly anxious parents waiting to see their son walk through the Curtain of Incompetence (aka airport security). He walked through alone and into  our arms. Given the amount of weight he'd lost, it was easy to wrap him up in our collective embrace. His belt was doing the same, given that it could nearly wrap around him twice. Tears freely flowed from all of us.

We knew he didn't want to be here. His heart is with the people he was serving. As he walked around our kitchen when he got home, he marveled that our kitchen floor was not made of dirt. He opened our refrigerator and said, "We have so much." Ironically, we'd barely filled it in advance of his return as we did not know if he was going to be on a normal diet or throwing back Ensure like a 78 year old geriatric patient. The emotional adjustment was looking tougher than the physical at that point.

Five days later, I can report progress is being made. TMFKATB has seen multiple doctors and has had multiple tests. For whatever reason, I've decided to exercise a modicum of restraint and NOT describe a few of them. I can tell you that after his GI doctor reviewed the notes from the doctor in Mexico, confirming that it was a good thing that he came home when he did,  as well as after his initial exam, we are cautiously optimistic. The test results, expected early next week, will confirm that optimism. It looks like this is entirely manageable. This means a new assignment to serve will not be too far off.

In the meantime, the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML and I are working to get a little more meat on him. He wears a hoodie everywhere to stay warm. May I remind you that it's spring here? Everyone else is in shorts and he is freezing. Nothing a couple of extra sandwiches can't fix, right?

Yes, this week which went a little bit slower can be summed up in one word: progress. Our son is making progress in getting back to full health. He is making progress on his goals to stay focused on missionary service. We, as his parents, are progressing, too. This has been a time of learning for us. It's been a time of learning to become more willing to accept the kindness of others. The outpouring of support from all of you has been awe-inspiring. Your words, offers of assistance, your prayers have been felt and appreciated. For many of you who spend time here in the Den, this LDS mission experience is completely foreign and perhaps a tad peculiar, but you have been so kind in your expressions of concern and offer of prayer. We are grateful for all of that and can tell you, those prayers have been felt and heard. We thank you and are in your debt.

So. progress. Here's to more of it this upcoming week! We recognize this is a unique opportunity to have our son home, but we know he'd rather be back out, serving in the mission field. We'll do our best to get him there.

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