My son is getting read for his internship with Josiah Venture this summer. He will be in Poland and Slovakia. I am helping him with his fund raising, and now I am missing Jan. I wrote about my dear friend in Preparing to Leave.
In the summer of 2014, Luke, went with Southeast Christian Church to Czech Republic for 16 days. Before he went I helped him raise funds, which involved mailing out a letter to everyone we knew. Jan was excited about his trip and donated some money to show her support. She had gone on a few mission trips herself and had a passion for all things missions related.
As I was adding names to the list Luke had prepared, I suddenly found myself missing Jan. I can’t tell her my boy is going to Europe this summer and for two years beginning in 2017, though I have a feeling she already knows. I can’t talk to her about the mixed emotions of my youngest living across the big pond for so many months, however excited I am for him.
She would get it too, because she was a mother who had a fierce love for her kids and grand kids…all of her family, in fact.
I found myself adding her husband’s name to the list. Did he know about the trip he helped support in 2014? I found myself composing a letter to explain to him why I was sending him Luke’s letter about Europe.
This is what I was writing in my head:
I hope you are well. I know your second granddaughter arrived right on schedule in January. I was wondering if your grandson was here yet…I know how excited Jan was about more grands.
Did you know Luke was going to Europe? Did you know he went before, in 2014? Jan was happy to hear of his trip and delighted to support his endeavor. I am missing Jan at this time, so I decided to send you a letter letting you know of Luke’s plans. It somehow helps me to feel closer to Jan by doing so, as if I’m connecting with her in an abstract way.
Does this make sense to you?
I loved Jan and I am especially missing her now, as milestones are taking place in my kids’ lives. This is the kind of thing we would talk about and text each other about when she was still with us.
It really doesn’t matter if you donate or not for Luke’s trip. It really doesn’t even matter if you toss the letter in the trash before opening it because you don’t know who it’s from. It just matters that I sent this letter to Jan’s home, her address. It helps me to feel complete that I have somehow included her. I know this will come to an end at some point, but just not yet.
I find myself missing Jan and making this connection has helped. I won’t send the note to her husband, or maybe I will but for now the connection is complete because I connected with you.