Remnants: A small remaining quantity of something.
Some of you know Geoff and I dated long distance for almost 4 years before getting married. For a short 6 months in there we were in the same state, but the majority of our relationship was built over the phone and through week long visits every 3 months. It was hard, really hard. I cried a lot. I realized I was depressed. We learned so much about each other, because all we could do was talk. We read the whole Series of Unfortunate Events together over the phone. Until January 10, 2010, when I finally flew from Boston to Seattle with him, rather than leaving him behind.
It’s funny, but you don’t think something like that would impact you, but it does. I still don’t like airports. I still cry every time I drop someone off at the airport, and I get really anxious when I’m flying. My anxiety is airport-based, not because of the flying. It’s funny, but I don’t mind flying much at all.
Recently Geoff and I had one of those weeks where we weren’t together one night. Monday through Friday, Geoff was out every single night, and the one night he was in, I wasn’t. By the time Friday rolled around I missed him, even though we were going to bed together every night, and waking up together. So we went out to eat on Saturday night, and relaxed and worked in the yard together on Sunday. Come Monday, we both headed back to work, and I suddenly found myself missing him.
Sitting on the couch, between work shifts, feeling lonely, I finally put my finger on the problem. It’s another remnant of our long distance relationship. Of all the visits it was the ones where Geoff visited me that were the most difficult. I’d bring him to the airport, typically early in the morning, and would return home to an empty house. My parents are work, my sister at school or, later, college. Empty. I’d wander the rooms, remembering the things we did. Here’s the air mattress he slept on. Here’s where we read a few chapters of our latest book. Here we cuddled on the couch while watching a movie. I’d wander through my own house, crying and remembering. I’d often find myself in my sister or parent’s room, a room we didn’t visit together.
After a week or so, it would go away, and we’d settle into the routine we were used to. But on this particular Monday, as I sat on my own couch, I finally realized why I was sad. The remnants of saying goodbye are still too fresh, and sitting alone in my own house made my heart ache for the weekend we spent together. I missed my husband, despite the fact that he was now 20 minutes away, rather than 3,000 miles.
Tuesdays are better, and Wednesdays, and then it’s Saturday, and we’re together again. It’s much better than waiting 3 months. Maybe it’ll be better the longer we’re married, but for now I hold on tightly to the fact that he’ll be coming home to me at night, because for all the hours of loneliness I experience on Mondays, it’s a far cry from the months I used to muddle through.
And in the end I think it makes me appreciate him and what we have all the more.