It’s hard to believe that we are only a few hours away from seeing Sorella Ghio become Francesca Ghio again. What a blessing to see her coming back. Just being able to type that has me in tears at the moment.
I wish I had been more diligent with this blog, but I didn’t realize what these last 18 months would be like. So many people have told us about the countless blessings they have received while they had a child serving a mission. They made it sound like every day was Christmas and each time you opened up the morning paper, somebody had stuffed large sums of money in small, unmarked bills into it.
Didn’t work that way for the Ghios. The last eighteen months have been difficult ones. Still a lot that this family is going through, and sometimes those pressures have posed quite a threat to our family. We’ve seen some tough times, and we have had to learn to weather them without the resolute strength that Francesca has always given to this family.
But that doesn’t mean that blessings haven’t been there. I remember when my brother came home from his mission, the bishop asked my dad to speak. Dad said that the topic given to him was, “What it is like to have a son as a missionary.” Dad said that it was “too personal to talk about,” and then gave a talk on the Word of Wisdom or something.
I never really understood that until now. By both avocation and vocation I am a writer, and I just don’t have the words to express the feelings in my heart or why I tear up at just the thought of my daughter’s service. It really is too personal.
But as I posted her last letter home, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED,” I felt the need to intrude on my Love Bug’s blog to tell her this:
Your dad is more proud of you than he ever has been in his life.
You did what you felt the Lord asked you to do. You fulfilled the promise given to you in a baby blessing so many years ago. You were willing to sacrifice so much just to serve your Father in Heaven, and you demonstrated that you have grown up to be everything I ever hoped you would be.
There are great things ahead for you, kiddo. You have many shining moments in your future. But if you ever shine more brightly than you do today, I won’t be able to bear it.
Our family had been away from Italy for nearly 100 years when you left for Rome. When you went back, you took with you all of the good that has come to the Ghios over a century in America. You carried back the most precious treasure your family found here, and that is the gospel.
You made your old man proud. And somewhere tonight, Grandpa Ghio is smiling and saying “Well done.”