I met him when I was 23-years old. He was 28-years-old.
He was in the military. I worked for a national “giant”.
I lived in Michigan; he was in New Mexico.
I liked my space; he liked his equally as much.
I loved him. He loved me, too (even though I slipped and said it first).
I flew all over the US to visit him; he racked up the frequent flyer miles, too.
He was transferred to Arizona. He invited me to tag along.
I left my family and friends of fourteen years and followed. He counted this move as #4 in eight years.
I was 25-years-old. He was 30-years-old.
We “courted” for another year. He proposed at the Grand Canyon.
I said “YES”!
The very next day he deployed to Iraq.
So is our life; full of dramatic hellos and goodbyes with planes in-between.
One week later I left for Africa. Two continents for two newly engaged people.
I met him on the tarmac when his plane touched down on US soil.
One more dramatic hello.
I planned a wedding; he says he did, too. 🙂
We got married.
I was 27-years-old. He was 32-years-old.
After our honeymoon he drove back to Arizona from Michigan. I flew back.
I crossed the threshold of our new home “alone”.
A sigh and a shrug. Typical.
Two months later we moved (together) to South Carolina.
He worked. I worked. A lot. Too much.
He flew all over the world. I worked too much to notice.
He worked more and I quit so I could pick him up and drop him off at the airport for his weekly work trips.
One more hello and goodbye at the airport added to the tally.
Work called; they want Matt in Arkansas.
Oy! Another move; another place full of hopeful promises that don’t pan out.
I prayed. He prayed. He quit active duty military.
Two lovebirds unemployed “together”.
Alaska called. They invite Matt to join the team.
I packed. He packed. We moved.
We arrived in Alaska.
One week later I say goodbye. He says goodbye. I get on a plane for Africa.
I send emails. He sends emails.
I’m lonely. He’s lonely.
32 days later we hug in the Anchorage airport.
Half a year later it’s his turn. He leaves. The war is not over.
I am 30-years-old. He is 35-years-old.
I am awaiting another dramatic hello.
I wrote this because it is the only way to describe to those who ask “how it feels when Matt’s gone.”
To be quite frank, it’s all I’ve ever known in my relationship with him. As you can see above. Please know that I am so appreciative and grateful for all the support my family and friends give. I cherish those moments when someone stops to ask. It’s the littlest moments that make it the most difficult.
The lonely parts:
When I’m taking my dog for a walk and I see a couple holding hands as they pass me. It’s making a pot of coffee and realizing that I won’t be able to finish it all. It’s sitting at an outdoor concert and the sweetest love song comes across the speakers and my heart aches to share that moment with my Matty. It’s the frustration when seeing a “missed call” on my phone from him. It’s climbing into bed and he isn’t beside me.
However, I am so very thankful for the time to myself. I feel rejuvenated. The time alone allows me to kindle friendships and to remember that happiness in my life can not be placed on one person. Yikes, what a burden for someone to carry! It makes my faith that much stronger since the only person who truly understands how I feel and what I need is our Holy Father.
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder…I think my heart knows that. Perhaps this is why Matt and I have always settled for the dramatic hellos and goodbyes at the airports. Can someone meet us at the airport when Matt returns to play the perfect background music?
**Disclaimer: Mom, I’m okay. This is my way of missing Matt.**