Goodbyes.

Today I am loading up the car and headed to Kentucky to spend two weeks with my family. I love going home, but this goodbye to James packs a greater punch because when I get back, he’ll be gone. On Sunday morning he moves several states away. For the next five or six months, he will be traveling, and the only times I see him will be visits with suitcases in tow.

More on that in a minute, but first some photos from our last full day together last Saturday, when we tried to squeeze as much city fun into one day as possible before family came to town and the work week started.

Spring-143 AstrodonutsSpring-146 Spring-147

Spring-148When I look at these pictures, I can’t help but feel sad all over again that he is leaving. This isn’t a decision we entered into lightly, but rather one that came with so much prayer and thought, so many late night conversations and assessing every angle. And in the end, it was just the right thing. The scary, hard, uncertain, daring right thing. Leaving the job that he has held for the past four years is a pretty bold thing, but if we can’t take risks in the childless, mortgage-less, overall commitment-less stage that we are in now, when can we take them?

Plus, I really can’t be too dramatic and complain, as I have watched friends walk through much longer and more painful separations. I think of Susannah and Josue, and the long months they waited countries apart, working through the paperwork nightmare that comes with marrying someone from another country. I think of a friend at work who is spending two years getting her MA while her husband is in med school elsewhere. I think of the friends who have waved goodbye on military bases, sending spouses into the uncertainty of war. I really have it easy. No one will be shooting at him, I know this time is finite, and I will get to see him occasionally.

But still. I will miss him.

We haven’t gotten over that newlywed stage where I call him in the middle of the day just because I miss him and I still get excited when I hear him coming up the stairs after work. He is the first person I call with news, the person who can make me laugh the most, and the person who makes our little place home. I will miss Netflix marathons, countless walks to get milkshakes (though his absence will certainly mean healthier meals – KALE ALL THE TIME!), and staying up late talking about everything and nothing at all. Marriage means that we’ve spent the past two years learning everyday what it means to do daily life together, and now we have to pull that apart.

I don’t doubt that good things will come of this. Other than the great professional step he is taking, him being gone means I don’t feel bad about all the traveling I am doing this summer. It means lots of girl nights and hosting new friends for dinner. It means sleeping in the dead center of the bed and watching the Bachelorette without judgment and heckling. It means cultivating consideration of others, as I will be reminded that walking into church without a husband is a daunting task and being the one forgotten on a Saturday night kind of sucks. It means growth.

But still. I will miss him. And a whole lot of tears happened in our house over the last 24 hours.

(On a less emotional note, I’m getting my wisdom teeth out while he’s gone… which means I am accepting offers for someone to take me and babysit my drugged up self afterwards. When I informed the oral surgeon that I would just metro home, he laughed at me. And as those photos show, the fact that  I pre-game brunch with donuts means that the dentist and I have spent lots of time together lately. I should probably work on that while James is away too.)

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28 Responses to Goodbyes.

  1. Susannah says:

    Oh friend. I know how not fun it is to be apart from your spouse for a stretch of time, but I’m so excited for James and this opportunity. You know I’ll babysit you post oral surgery…I do have the most comfortable guest bed in the world if you wanna come crash for a few days… :)

    • Hannah says:

      You are the best…. you can carry Elise with one arm and me with the other! I will keep you on the list of “potential nursemaids for pathetic Hannah.”

  2. Laurie Whiteman says:

    I know how hard and ultimately good this time apart will be. I will keep you and James in my thoughts and prayers trusting God to knit you together as only He can do.
    I hope you have a reason to go to North Lime Coffee & Donuts while in Lexington!

  3. It’s so interesting, isn’t it? Getting married and thinking, I’m never going to be alone again! How cool! Netflix marathons every day!

    But life isn’t always so clean cut – and even though Will and I do have a child, I’ve been hopelessly distracting myself from the fact that Will’s residency means an easy 80+ hours for the next three years, and it’s only made me more determined to carve out “us” time when possible. For the first six months of our marriage, Will and I lived apart as I kept working and he finished medical school. We only saw each other on the weekends, and it wasn’t easy (hello, preggo too!), but it really strengthened us as a couple. I pray the Lord blesses you both during this time, and further cements your holy union as husband and wife.

    And good luck eating kale! Although, I hear collard greens are the “new kale”…

    • Hannah says:

      I am not convinced that collard greens can unseat the great Kale. I mean, I love them cooked in bacon fat like any decent southerner, but in a salad? with crumbled goat cheese? Not so sure.

  4. redhairedrebel says:

    Matthew and I have talked often of how time apart never seems to get easier, no matter how long you’ve been married or how many times you’ve done it. But God is so good, and he can turn these hard times into times of growth and fruitfulness, for each of you separately and your marriage. I will be praying for you both over the coming months!

  5. German hug coming your way!! You’ll be fine =)

  6. Anna Louisa says:

    I’ll be praying for you two, Hannah! And imposing myself on you as soon as you get back to DC with hopes to distract you with a super fat baby and enthusiasm for donuts :)

  7. E. Henry says:

    Wow. Just wow. I admire both of you for being willing to undertake this adventure.

  8. Nicole says:

    OH my goodness. I can’t even imagine. I literally get sad when Tom has to work late…Prayers!

  9. Stephanie says:

    Awww, you’re making me cry! Any separation is difficult! When we were engaged my hubby worked in Kansas during the week and flew home on weekends- it was awful, especially while wedding planning and even then I still got to see him. It just wasn’t the same though. Good luck, glad it’s a finite amount of time! And ps, definitely have a buddy take you home after the oral surgery. You will not be able to walk very well let alone figure out trains!

  10. Heidi says:

    You guys will talk, skype, facetime, whatever, all the time. My grandfather was making fun of me for how much me and Alex talk when we’re apart, but seriously…best friends HAVE to talk all the time, and you will. And since you mentioned taking risks and doing daring things…surprise visits are always fun. ;)

  11. ann says:

    oh wow, that’s a brave decision. but then again, so is getting married with someone. :) and that’s a good point about giving time to those you might not have time if your husband was around. i often think i should give more time to friends but it’s just so easy and comfortable to spend the weekends with your husband and other couples…
    anyway, i wish you and james all the best together and apart!

    • Hannah says:

      I guess any stage of a relationship has its brave parts! I am really looking forward into investing in lots of people that I rarely get to enjoy!

  12. Laura says:

    Oh my goodness, that is going to be hard! You are seriously brave. Being apart for a week is hard for my husband and me, and then I think about military men and their wives. Choosing to see the positive side is what is going to get you through! I wish you both the best as you navigate this rougher season of life… the best part is, it’s only a season and you have an end in sight! Good luck Hannah!

  13. Tiffany says:

    Aww, hang in there! It really is so hard being apart. My boyfriend and I live 9 hours apart and like you said, SO many people have it WAY worse, but it’s hard to think about that when I’m crying at an airport on a Sunday afternoon!

  14. Musing Nanny says:

    It’s not the same since I am not yet married, but I have a long distance relationship with my best friend (who happens to be my boyfriend), and I know it is not easy. Prayers are with you as you enter this time. I hope God’s presence brings peace.

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