the saddest 30 seconds of my life

we dropped my brother off at the missionary training center on wednesday. prior to that, we had a great morning with a delicious lunch at zupas and fun times bonding with relatives. i struggled to grasp the reality of the situation - that those were, in fact, the last few moments i had with my brother for the next 24 months. it couldn't be true! my heart assumed that after lunch was over, we'd peruse the byu bookstore or get ice cream from the creamery like old times.
instead, we endured an awkward 2-minute car ride with tanner forcing back sniffles and tears, dad cracking jokes to redirect any thoughts of sadness, and mom giving her final last-minute advice. "follow the rules!" "be good!" and before we knew it, we were parked inside the mtc. 
suddenly it occurred to me that i was about to leave my brother on a curb, and drive away not seeing him for another two years. i choked. is he ready? did he memorize my email address? have i been a good sister? do i have any advice? i've never left the country for two years. i've never dedicated that amount of time to only serving the lord. i had one last chance for an interaction with him; whatever words came out of my mouth would be the last thing he heard from me! what could i possibly do or say to convey my feelings of love and pride to my sweet brother in a minute or less? 
 instead of giving him final motivating words or thought-provoking advice, i just cried. i hugged him and somehow managed to mumble "i'll miss you" and he replied with a "love you."
and then somehow, i was back in the van with my parents, scotty, and tanner. everything happened so quickly. mitchell was gone, and it felt like someone had blindfolded me and pushed me off a cliff. today, i am happier. i am happy mitchell is gone. i'm happy we have a forever family. and i'm happy we will get emails once a week and phone calls twice a year. i am so proud of my little brother! 
... but i will sure be happier when he's back.


  1. Ashley, you made me cry! That is a sweet way to send your brother off to serve the Lord. I promise it is all worth it when you get to hear how awesome he is doing each week. :)

  2. My brother Evan is going into the MTC on March 6th and I'm sure I'll be crying like a complete dork when he leaves! I'm so glad that he is going to better himself and teach the people in Mexico the gospel...but on the other hand I'll be sad not seeing him for 2 years cause he is my best friend. I totally feel you on this! Definitely will be happier in two years. Actually three years, cause my youngest brother's mission will overlap a year with my other brother Evan's mission. Ahhhhhhhhh!

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