Tomorrow morning I am traveling home for 12 days. 12 WHOLE DAYS. When my mom came to visit me here in Dallas about a month ago, she gave me money to buy a ticket home this July. I don’t do well with goodbyes, and so I recovered from dropping her off at the airport by immediately running home and buying my ticket. I’m serious. I think I had it purchased before she even boarded the plane. And I have been looking forward to this trip ever since.
But now that it’s finally here? I know this sounds silly, but I have been depressed for the past 3 days. Why? Because I can’t imagine leaving Jesse. He has to stay home because of his new job and saving sick days and time off for the baby. I think this will be the longest I’ve ever spent away from him since the summer before we got married (4 years ago! wow!). This past Christmas, I spent an extra 4 days in CA while Jesse had to fly home, and even THAT felt like forever!
You’d think that after (nearly) 4 years of marriage, Jesse and I would enjoy the occasional time away from each other. It calls to mind much of the “advice” we were given when we got married. “Forebodings” would be more accurate. They warned us that any idealizations we had about each other would be smashed, hopefully replaced with forgiveness of our blaring faults. Someone even told us that the person we “thought” we married would change drastically the minute we started living together.
I’d have to say that these things were semi-true for the first few months. When I first went to Fr. Wayne to talk about icky marital fights a few months after our wedding, he told me just to hang in there and keep working at it, because it all pays off. “My wife and I haven’t fought in 20 years” he said. I think I may have laughed in his face. It’s hard to even fathom something so wonderful when you’re fighting several times a day!
But now? I have to say, that although we are not perfect as a couple, we are better than we’ve ever been. Almost like we’re getting better the longer we live together. I know I should have accumulated 4 years worth of annoyances that I could roll my eyes about knowingly, but his peculiarities have instead grown incredibly endearing. I used to be embarrassed by his sense of humor, and now I can’t imagine going without it for a day. I used to hate the way we always had to re-hash every fight, because I felt like it was terrible to begin with, why re-live it? Now, I see that it has been the saving grace in our relationship and I am deeply thankful.
And here is the part you’re probably not going to believe. I have a front row seat to this guy’s life, and I can say, in all honesty, he rarely, if ever, sins. I can’t begin to account for what goes on his head, but as far as his outward actions go, I’d have a hard time finding fault. He rarely ever speaks harshly to me, even when I’m being a jerk. He hardly ever comes home from work cranky, and he’s always spending time bettering others, besides the few hours he takes to refresh each evening in front of the tv or computer. He’s never late. He never misses his prayer time in the morning. He is highly thought of by everyone, everywhere he goes, because people realize it’s not fake.
It kind of sucks, because then there’s me. Emotional, unpredictable, lazy. Married to someone else, I might look pretty good. But the stark contrast with him? Hopeless 🙂
But I don’t really care. Because our relationship is amazing, and our friendship is even better. If he wants to be pretty much sinless, fine by me. I’m the one who gets to benefit from it!
So you can understand why I can’t bear the thought of leaving for 12 days.
But there’s another part of me that will be sad if I don’t go. I love and miss my family so much that it’s like a constant aching hole. The first time we went home for the holidays, nearly 3 years ago, I felt like one of my numb limbs was waking up again after being asleep for months. Everytime we say goodbye to them at an airport, Jesse has to practically carry me because I’m crying so hard. Like I said, I don’t handle goodbyes. I think I have huge separation anxiety issues, dating all the way back to when my parents tried to drop me off at preschool and the staff would call hours later because I was still in hysterics over the fact that they didn’t wave goodbye until completely out of sight. My cousin Ellen and I were once scrapbooking with old pictures, and she cut my mom’s head off a picture. I was so distraught, my mom had to come pick me up. In fact, I don’t think I spent a full night at someone’s house until I was 8.
So perhaps the real reason I’m depressed is because I know that either way this goes, I’m going to be sad. As I say a joyful hello to my family, I’m going to be counting down the days until I get to see Jesse again. As I get closer to getting to see him again, I’m going to be mourning the loss of my family. I’m already on the emotional pregnancy roller coaster of my life, and I think I’m dreading have to battle these powerful surges.
But maybe I can let go of fighting the emotions. They are signs that I love and care deeply about people that matter. Perhaps my battle should be attempting to live in the moment. Not in the future, not in the past, but in the present. Because that’s not only where the people I love and care about are, but it’s also where the Holy Spirit is able to minister to me. And boy, do I need His help!