I’ve always been a lover; when I love something or someone, I love hard. Or at least I thought I knew what love was but until I met Zach, I guess I hadn’t really know how powerful or how magical the act of loving someone and being in love truly was.
Z and I met and started dating four years ago this month. And two short months later, he left for Basic Training. We went from spending every minute humanly possible together to waiting on the mailman to deliver letters days, and sometimes weeks apart. But I will never forget that feeling; running to the mailbox after work or ripping open three or four letters that all arrived on the same day. Our relationship blossomed on sheets of paper and I feel so blessed we will have those to look back on years from now.
And then he came home and we got engaged; I said yes to him and yes to supporting him in whatever life decisions he made. Or Uncle Sam told him he had to make. Of course, I had no idea what that meant but I wanted him for the rest of my life and that was all that mattered. So we spent the next two weeks together and then said goodbye again as headed back to finish training.
At the time, that was our hardest goodbye to date. I sent my fiancé back on the plane and at this point, I was beginning to hate airports! But I waited for more letters to start rolling in and picked up right where we left off. Through the mail, we planned to get married after his graduation two months later. Because after that, we had no idea where he would go and unless we were married, I couldn’t go with him.
So as I anxiously awaited the graduation ceremony to begin, I also began to fear the future. Where would we go? When? How? But none of that mattered because at the end of day, he would be my husband and I would be his wife. We would face the unknown together and figure it out as it came.
We said goodbye that weekend (again), I saw him the following weekend and said goodbye (again) and wasn’t sure when I would see him next. Saying goodbye never got any easier but it became more routine than in the beginning. He would get quiet and I would cry, we’d hug and kiss and I’d walk away with tears in my eyes. But the reunions? Those were totally worth the tears. There was, and is, running and jumping and embracing as happy tears stain my cheeks.
Things changed when we had kids. It was no longer about him and me, but rather the babies and jumping back into our routine with two parents instead of one. There was no catching up on our time apart because someone needed a diaper change or someone else needed put in timeout. It wasn’t due to me loving him any less or not being as excited to see him, but it wasn’t about us. It was about our kids and our role as parents.
He FaceTimed me for the first time yesterday morning and my stomach filled with butterflies. I had forgotten how exciting it was to see his face from thousands of miles away. And call me crazy, but knowing I may only talk to him once a day makes me appreciate and embrace every single minute of that conversation. I set the kids in the playroom to play and I talked to my husband; about how he felt, what he’s been doing, and he asked me the same questions. I felt giddy, I felt silly, and I felt the same emotions I felt the first few weeks we started dating.
This man has stolen my heart. He makes me feel good and brings a smile to my face that no one else has or ever will. Being apart isn’t easy but together, we have learned strength and in turn, strengthened our love and marriage. No time apart is ideal and 10 months apart is certainly no walk in the park. But if every conversation feels the way it did yesterday, I will have no problem with one phone call a day for the next 9 months.
Having two small babies has certainly taken the focus off the two of us but moving forward, I’ve realized we need more time to ourselves. I love my babies more than anything but having a relationship with my husband needs to be more of a priority. I’ve always said that God works in mysterious ways and yes, this may be a little extreme but maybe it’s what we needed. Maybe we needed these phone calls and emails and snail mail letters to remind each other why we work so well together. That we’re more than just a mom and a dad but still two crazy kids who fell in love on a random day in September. And who will continue to fall in love everyday of the rest of our lives.