Dramatic Hellos & Goodbyes

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.**

11 thoughts on “Dramatic Hellos & Goodbyes

  1. I just love reading your blog! Keep up the great work! I can hear you as I read your words! Praying for you and Matt, to a speedy and safe return….God Bless!

  2. I am not worried if you are okay, just want you to know my heart is still connected to your heart, I think that is how I sometimes “know” you are lonely. Our Heavenly Father holds you in the “palm of His hand” and that is a constant comfort. I am so thankful God has blessed you two with a beautiful place to live and explore and you are developing new friendships. I must admit I wouldn’t mind being the person at the airport who plays the music when Matt gets off the plane, I’m a sucker for happy endings! Much love, Mom

  3. I’m reading this as I wait for my delayed flight at the Halifax Nova Scotia airport I have tears in my eyes. Your blog is seriously misnamed. It should be called QuiteElequentJen.

  4. you are the most eloquent writer I know- I can just imagine the dramatic hello when he comes back- the music swelling in the background,the heart beats faster and faster, the eyes widen in delight at seeing him, running to jump into his arms-smothering him with furry wet kisses—-?
    Rider!!! Stop it! Let ME kiss him too!!

  5. Jen I understand the feeling, I just never had to say goodby so often. When Grandpa was overseas I counted how many full moons before he returned. We loved to go to Devils Lake and watch the full moon reflected in the water. I think of you so often and wish I could “stop by” and we could share a cup of tea. Know that you and Matt are never far from my thoughts and prayers. God has given you a true gift “Niffer” continue writing, you make your love story come alive, not only your and Matt’s story but also the love story you have with our Heavenly Father. God Bless you my darling Niffer. DeeDee

  6. Jen, shut your mouth!! I love this post. You are officially the strongest and most positive person I know. And a prayer warrior! I miss you, and am praying for you, Matt, and Rider 🙂

  7. What an amazing love story! Falling in love with someone is easy. Finding a partner who we’d walk through hell with and know we had the strength to make it through is rare. It makes me happy to hear about others who find that and work so hard to keep it.

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