Saturday, May 13, 2017

Distance

My husband and I started dating in the late fall of our senior year of high school. I broke up with him in March because I felt like we weren't good enough friends. I told him I needed the cake to go with the frosting and things seemed a bit too serious to me and not fun enough. But then we started hanging out as friends and things were more relaxed and wouldn't you know it by July I was in love with him. But by then we had graduated high school and my parents were moving across the country and I was headed to college far away from where he would be. In my head I thought, well, we have three weeks before I leave so we'll make the most of it and then we'll just part ways. I was wrong.

I remember laying on the floor of the apartment my parents were living in while their house was being finished in Idaho and just crying on the phone with him, just days after I had left. He kept saying that we had been blessed with a wonderful relationship and he just didn't think we needed to end it because now we were on opposites sides of the country. So off I went to BYU and he went to UCF and we talked on the phone almost every day. This was no easy feat when I had five roommates and one landline for the six of us to share, plus a two-hour time difference and the fact that we were both freshmen in college with heavy workloads. But my day didn't feel complete without hearing his voice and sometimes we would talk for hours in the middle of the night.

We were able to visit each other three times during the year and we did have a few weeks together in the summer but the reality was that we just never had enough time together. Our lives were always taking us in different directions and it was such a challenge to be physically separated while our hearts were so connected. Then I went to London on study abroad and suddenly I was across the ocean and sharing a phone with 40 other people. Then he left on a mission for our church and suddenly it was just letters and the occasional cassette tape, which was wonderful to listen to because at least I got to hear his voice. Then I left on my mission across the world so it took a lot longer for those letters to get to each other and we were busier so the letters got shorter and less frequent.

Through all of this, it should have made us feel disconnected from each other, but it didn't. Even though we only spent weeks together out of the years that we were dating, the distance never distanced our love. We talked for hours and hours on the phone, wrote emails, letters, talked on tapes, sent postcards, wrote journals to each other or whatever it took to communicate and stay in touch. Not out of duty and it was never an effort or something forced but it was just our natural connection that made it so that if I didn't write to him or talk to him about what I was thinking I would feel like I was going to burst. He is truly my best friend and love of my life and I just love to be with him.

Our wedding day was the happiest day of my life because it meant that our lives were finally connected and we would be together all of the time. He still spent hours and hours at school studying but he always came home to me. Then when he started working, he was getting ready to leave on his first business trip and I remember feeling like this wasn't part of the deal. We had already done our time apart and I really didn't want him to leave me. I don't like when he is gone; it is just so lonely without him. I've gotten used to the week-long trips now but for the first time since we've been married, he's been gone for three weeks on a business trip and we've both been reminded of how much we appreciate each other and love to be together. He is the best listener, he always helps me sort out my thoughts and fears and frustration, he makes me laugh and feel silly and relaxed and fun, he makes me feel beautiful and loved, he expresses gratitude for all that I do for him and for our family and he is a wonderful father and I love parenting with him. Perhaps it is because we spent so much time fighting physical distance in our relationship that we're blessed not to have any emotional distance in our marriage but whatever the reason, I'm grateful he's all mine and that he'll be home tomorrow and there won't be any more distance between us.

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