365 Days

Sadie just minutes before entering the MTC.

Our church is big on preparation. Prepare for your future. Prepare for catastrophes. Prepare for you callings. Be spiritually prepared. We are taught it all our lives.


Sadie was trying to prepare me. Or Someone was.

 From the beginning, my girl was ok to leave me. At the tender age of two, she toddled off, holding my sister Ellen’s hand as she left for a sleepover. No looking back, no tears or requests to ‘come home’. She chatted all the way to Ellen’s house and happily spent time with her, only sad when she was returned to me.

At eight, she went to Girl Scout camp. A week with her BFF in the Utah mountains, making boondoggle and singing songs. Still no homesick tears.

I have let her go over and over. Girls camp. Youth conference. Scout camp. I should have been prepared.

We are all prepared, we Mormon parents. It isn’t like it’s sprung on us. A mission- SURPRISE! We know they’re going. We talk about it as they grow. (“When you go on your mission…”  “Where do you hope to go?) We plan for it. The smart ones save for it. We know it’s going to happen.

But can anything really prepare a mother?

365 days.

Today it’s been a year. A year since I kissed and hugged my girl goodbye.  A year since I watched her walk confidently away. A year since she didn’t look back.

I have longed to be there. To share in her adventure. To watch her learn. To hear her teach and testify. To carry her when she struggles. To hold her when she cries. To cheer her in her joys.

But this is her journey.

The year hasn’t been easy. She has faced rejection, illness, discouragement and even sorrow over the death of a friend. For all these things, I have been a distant observer. Emails offer little comfort or support.

But I have also seen her growth.

My shy girl has become bold. And sassy. She unflinchingly testifies of what she knows and she doesn’t back down. The girl who feared teaching a small Sunday school class,  now bravely knocks on doors, teaches on porch steps, in homes and on the street. She is fearless and confident in her testimony of the Savior and His gospel. She is happy in the face of trial because she knows Whom she serves.

365 days. A year since I’ve heard her laugh. A year since she climbed onto my bed. A year since she laid her head on my shoulder.

 My arms are empty but my heart is so full. My girl has grown into a woman. A Woman of faith and truth. A Woman who leads and exemplifies all that is good. A Woman of Light.

I didn’t need preparation for that.

One year later.
Woman of Faith and Light


  1. I couldn't imagine. Next year my daughter starts high school. I feel like it all moves so fast. Still I imagine like me it is awesome to see her grow and become an amazing person as the years go by.

  2. This is beautiful! Less than six months now....


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