SANTAQUIN, Utah—”Get me the mission president’s contact information right now or I’m flying to Africa.”
That’s what Sister Susan Hemlock spat at her husband early this morning when her son’s email failed to arrive. What began as a disappointed frown quickly grew into a fit of frenzied motherly instinct.
Brother Jason Hemlock, Susan’s husband, says it’s a scenario that’s played out before and it’ll play out again. “He’s been in the field for eight months now. He’s now been late on three emails, which equates to three aneurysms from Susan.”
Brother Hemlock says there always turns out to be a good reason for the delays. “Downed internet, meetings with the mission president, technical malfunctions … there’s always a reason, but Susan can’t help but jump to conclusions,” he said.
“He’s dead, I just know it,” Sister Hemlock tearfully bleated. “I read online that Africa is replete with headhunters and disease and … and wild dogs crying out in the night. Don’t you tell me he’s fine—I’ve seen Lion. I know what things are like there. He’s probably been Shanghaid in the Sahara. He’ll probably be suffering for the rest of his life in a Sarlacc Pit. Jason! Get me chocolate.”
“Did she reference Lion? Yeah, she thinks that happened in Africa. It’s slightly offensive. Don’t quote her on that,” Brother Hemlock said.
Over the next seven hours, Sister Hemlock’s eyes were glued to her computer screen. She spent her time refreshing her emails, looking up flights, posting frantically to missionary mom Facebook groups and calling random hospitals in her son’s field of service.
Brother Hemlock spent that time watching football.
UPDATE: Elder Hemlock’s email didn’t arrive until the following P-day. By this time Sister Hemlock had sprouted 47 new gray hairs, lost twenty-three pounds and had drafted a touching obituary. She has given us permission to reprint an excerpt from his email home:
“Sorry about not writing last week. We only had a few minutes of P-day left and we ran into a Red Robin in the same mall as the internet cafe. We had to make choices. It was delicious. Hope you didn’t worry too much. Picture of burger attached.”
This article is satirical. The characters and story are invented, though the persona of the over-protective missionary mom is exceptionally close to the truth in some families. We love you, moms. Thanks for worrying.