Today I am loading up the car and headed to Kentucky to spend two weeks with my family. I love going home, but this goodbye to James packs a greater punch because when I get back, he’ll be gone. On Sunday morning he moves several states away. For the next five or six months, he will be traveling, and the only times I see him will be visits with suitcases in tow.
More on that in a minute, but first some photos from our last full day together last Saturday, when we tried to squeeze as much city fun into one day as possible before family came to town and the work week started.
When I look at these pictures, I can’t help but feel sad all over again that he is leaving. This isn’t a decision we entered into lightly, but rather one that came with so much prayer and thought, so many late night conversations and assessing every angle. And in the end, it was just the right thing. The scary, hard, uncertain, daring right thing. Leaving the job that he has held for the past four years is a pretty bold thing, but if we can’t take risks in the childless, mortgage-less, overall commitment-less stage that we are in now, when can we take them?
Plus, I really can’t be too dramatic and complain, as I have watched friends walk through much longer and more painful separations. I think of Susannah and Josue, and the long months they waited countries apart, working through the paperwork nightmare that comes with marrying someone from another country. I think of a friend at work who is spending two years getting her MA while her husband is in med school elsewhere. I think of the friends who have waved goodbye on military bases, sending spouses into the uncertainty of war. I really have it easy. No one will be shooting at him, I know this time is finite, and I will get to see him occasionally.
But still. I will miss him.
We haven’t gotten over that newlywed stage where I call him in the middle of the day just because I miss him and I still get excited when I hear him coming up the stairs after work. He is the first person I call with news, the person who can make me laugh the most, and the person who makes our little place home. I will miss Netflix marathons, countless walks to get milkshakes (though his absence will certainly mean healthier meals – KALE ALL THE TIME!), and staying up late talking about everything and nothing at all. Marriage means that we’ve spent the past two years learning everyday what it means to do daily life together, and now we have to pull that apart.
I don’t doubt that good things will come of this. Other than the great professional step he is taking, him being gone means I don’t feel bad about all the traveling I am doing this summer. It means lots of girl nights and hosting new friends for dinner. It means sleeping in the dead center of the bed and watching the Bachelorette without judgment and heckling. It means cultivating consideration of others, as I will be reminded that walking into church without a husband is a daunting task and being the one forgotten on a Saturday night kind of sucks. It means growth.
But still. I will miss him. And a whole lot of tears happened in our house over the last 24 hours.
(On a less emotional note, I’m getting my wisdom teeth out while he’s gone… which means I am accepting offers for someone to take me and babysit my drugged up self afterwards. When I informed the oral surgeon that I would just metro home, he laughed at me. And as those photos show, the fact that I pre-game brunch with donuts means that the dentist and I have spent lots of time together lately. I should probably work on that while James is away too.)