As my body is in habit now, I roll out of bed to my knees. My roommate jumps in the shower. Rarely do I get time and space to myself, this is a chance to speak my mind and get off my chest bottled up emotions. The bottle burst as I began to offer one of my final prayers. Heavy drenched tears race down my face as a flash flood. My chest is compressed with pressure and anxiety. Different themed emotions scamper through my body. One instance is absolute gratitude and appreciation for my experiences and opportunities. Next I long to have more time, not much but just enough to make sure that I have done everything I possibly need to. Capped by the anxiety and fear of what awaits me on the other side. A life forsaken that is to patiently waited.
Eight hours and 152 miles later we all sit in a circle. I can remember these same faces many of them from years earlier. As I think back to the first time in that circle in the same exact home the memory is immature. Faces that explained youth and inadequacy, uncertainty and ambition. Some suffocating a testimony and others turning up the pillows and cushions in hopes they could find one before the adventure really got serious. Tonight is different though.
As I scan the room on this night the faces are different, you might even say changed. Their countenances expresses joy and happiness, contemplation and reflection, peace and comfort. Those that suffocated the testimony gently hold it in their possession understanding the purity of it and that it won’t get away from them if the take care of it. For the few that were turning the house over to find it, well they have in a way grown the most. Their youthful face are now rich in maturity, as if the know better who they are and what their purpose in life is to be.
After a long night of combat with my assigned spot on the floor I retreat the the lazy boy down stairs. Months and months just replaying back through my wrestles mind. Even on little sleep the past few nights I am running on the most natural high of anticipation and emotion as possible.
Peace of them Temple should calms ones soul. Standing in the room again looking at the now mature faces that have given their all I am humbly rushed yet once more into feelings of true charity, gratitude and appreciation to God for the privilege to be counted among them. My joy that moment was comparable to that of Alma when he recognize his brethren still in the Lord and their strength in learning gospel and studying of Gods word through the scriptures.
Baggage is now checked and its approaching time. I have participated in this routine more that my fair share. It is a much different adrenaline rush when its for you. Nobody can concentrate on smiling nice for the picture. We all know that once we walk through that security gate its over. We will never be able to turn back to the life that have provided so much for us.
I try to avoid the process as long as I possibly can. President has began giving his hugs as normal and Sister Ware hers. The emotions of the other morning are back and as vibrant as ever. I turn to Sister Ware to see her face mobbed with sadness and tears. I have waited one long year for this hug, however I would do anything to change the circumstances. She held me with the loving embrace that only a mother can. It was the comfort and confidence I needed to experience. President for the first time I have seen also sheds tears as everyday citizens wonder why a bunch of young men and women are so worked up over walking through airport security. They can’t know that blood sweat and tears of what we have just done. They can’t comprehend the daily battle in Gods war to be won. Only we our closely woven family have forged the bond. A bond that can only be forged through sacred emotional experiences.
The engine is roaring for take off, about 50 yards from the plane and the only thing getting me there is my bodies natural ability to put one foot in front of the other. The heat is scorching through my suit and I am taken back to the hill in the distance one of the countless places there the memories are rich. That hill reminds of my first christmas from home. I see peoples faces, smell the food, remember the tears.
After a little more than an hour in the air, I see the rocky mountains that are familiar to me since childhood. Its a weird experience to be taken from one extreme way of life to another. In a matter of one hour everything will change. I walk of the plane to absolutely gigantic mountains that I haven’t seen in literally years. Just the feeling of my feet on Utah soil was ironically invigorating and motivating.
The race is on now, as we try to look collected and calm through the airport. We know that in just a matter of minutes we will see the faces of our loved ones that have supported us through our ups and downs. Only having a chance to Skype twice a year and communicate weekly through email makes a 2 year reunion more special that people can understand.
We have all stayed together through the end. Yet as we turn the corner to descend down the escalator we see at the bottom a multitude of people with banners and signs crying and cheering for us. Really it was for us, I am only able to put my arm around my best friend and cup my mouth as my emotions are a clear as ever. I spot my mom first and hug her with no intention of letting go. There the emotional bond is made as we shed tears I only wish I could have bottled up. To serve as a memory that we had returned with honor.