So my bliss has started to fade. I was so excited to have him home in April. Ecstatic even. He came home on the date of our anniversary and I couldn’t have had a better gift. We had a little over two months of planning things on the weekends, cooking dinner, watching movies and shopping. But the impending move was looming over my head. Mid June, we packed up the car, and drove almost two hours on a Sunday morning to San Diego to drop him off at the airport. This seemed all too familiar. As we drove, we sang along to his favorite songs in the car, enjoying views of the ocean alongside us.
When we got to the airport, we parked and I helped him lug all of his bags to check in. I could tell he was a little anxious about traveling. I was trying to hold back tears and stand in line with him as long as I could. I helped him get his boarding pass and made our way through lines of people to get him to security. I stood with him, not speaking until it was time to go. He dropped his garment bag and I gave him a hug. Not wanting to let go, I could not hold back tears any more. When he left for deployment, I didn’t want to cry in front of him. This was a different story. I cried because we had to do this all over again, after just two months. He let people cut in front of him in line so we could hug a little longer. I told him to be safe, and call me when he landed and got to base.
The thought of having to travel two hours back home, and then get ready for work the next day only added to the sadness I was feeling. I was sad for many reasons. Besides the obvious of not having him around, I was nervous because there were so many unanswered questions about his new duty station. I wished so badly that I could go with him and help him along the way, even though he is grown and perfectly capable of handling these things. The thought of having to travel two hours home and get ready for work the next day was only adding to my sadness.
When I got home, it felt empty. I have a roommate, and it still felt like something was missing. Or someone. I got back into my room and noticed little things that he had left me. Some clothing, and drawings. He even wrote me a beautiful note on my mirror, and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t read it when I wake up in the morning.
Now, almost three months later, we talk on the phone every day. We have planned out holidays and trips to see each other, but it still isn’t the same as having the person you love near. Whenever I get sad or start to miss him, I think of deployment. More than half a day ahead in time zones, days without communication, and the element of compromised safety were worries I had for over six months. Now, only two hours ahead of me, the worries have changed. I worry if I can get the time off of work to visit him. I worry about saving up money for plane tickets. I plan my day so that we have a chance to talk for a while after work, even if there’s only 4 hours left to turn in a homework assignment.
The bottom line is, being in a long distance relationship is hard. And even with daily phone calls and constant texts, it is not the same as having each other near. Work, school, gym, friends-it is hard to juggle everything. Sometimes it just sucks. But I know that the sacrifice of being apart for two years is so small compared to a lifetime together.