|Last minute instructions (When you get to Atlanta, get to your next gate... don't stop to eat or pee... Then once you get to your gate, buy something there to eat...). Trying to "mom" a little more before he leaves.|
|Sad... but we're so brave (so far)|
|Our traditional group hug.. last for 2 years.|
Sister Cutler (the Mission President's wife for the Milwaukee mission) was there! She was waiting for someone to land and she noticed we were sobbing and hanging onto a young man. She asked us right away if we were LDS and this was a missionary.
She offered to take a group picture. Oh yeah... you can see we are a mess!!!
When Sister Cutler heard Brett was going to the Texas Dallas mission she said that President Taylor (who is Brett's mission president in Dallas) was her Stake President! She told us we are so lucky... he is an amazing man and his wife is just outstanding. Wow!! How cool was that?!
NOTE: Every mission area around the world is led by a Mission President and his wife is usually called the "Mission Mom" (informally). Brett's mission president is "President" Brian Taylor and his wife is Sister Taylor. We got a picture and a biography of each of them in Brett's packet. They have a Facebook page here for the Texas Dallas mission!! Soon Brett's pics will show up there on occasion! I'll share on the blog when they do for those that don't use FB.
He walked through... we watched all the way through security (more pics will be added to this piece later today). We sobbed... and sobbed.... Honestly I think this was the hardest "mom" moment of my life. 2 years..... We know it's going to be an amazing experience... but wow. That was tough.
NOW... a part where I don't have pictures (DARN!)...
Margaret, Matt & Sophie came to the airport to be with us! Originally the intent was that they would be there to take pictures and video. Our communications got mixed and they were at Concourse C (we were at D). But actually - they were there where and when we needed them most. After Brett went through security - we saw them... tear-stained and it was so good to be with people who have been through this. Matt had returned (for a medical leave) the day before from his mission in Uruguay! After traveling for 10 hours by bus, and 14 hours through airports and planes the DAY BEFORE - he was there to see his friend off on his mission. He was all smiles - and he said "Don't worry about Brett... he's going to be great." And then told me he will likely connect with other missionaries in Atlanta who are going into the Mexico MTC on the same connecting flight.
Margaret gave me words of encouragement... and I know what she has been through since our boys have been close since they were little! And watching their family as Matt went off on his mission. It was so good to connect with them. We needed them there.
With my sister and my best friend (Aunt Carrie and Aunt Lisa) being there with us... and then Sister Cutler and the W family... And then reflecting back on the Open House and on Brett's friends from school with their farewell (it was the Brett Hogg Farewell Tour)... we are so so grateful. You all have no idea how much this means.
Now off to the Observation area! We drove to that parking lot (which was locked - but we parked by the gate) and waited to see when Brett's plane took off. We didn't have to wait long... and there it was!! We WAVED and WAVED... at both sides of the plane as it turned hoping he could see us. But then thought it was silly... there was no way he would be able to. (He did! See the letter coming up!)