Thirty-four years ago, we sent our so Seth, then fifteen years old, to Kenya. Well, we didn’t exactly send him. He went on a service trip, sponsored by his YMCA summer camp to help build a community building in Busia, Kenya. It was a life-changing experience. Two years later, his brother Jeremy did a similar trip to Sweden and Russia.
Back then there was no Internet. The only form of communication was those flimsy blue air-letters that took forever and told you that your child was OK two weeks ago.
Now, our fifteen-year old grandson Leo who attends the same YMCA summer camp will be off to Vietnam on a service trip in July. Everyone is thrilled that he was accepted.
His father, sounding worried, called the other day to ask how we were able to stand not knowing that our child was OK when communication was so slow. Memories of checking the mail every day and usually being disappointed, came flooding back. When a letter arrived, I was relieved to know he was OK when he wrote, but still worried about how he was that day.
Both children survived (although Seth came back with hepatitis). Our sons are now well into middle-age. Email and texting keep us in close touch.
But I still worry.
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