In just a few weeks, I will be done with the semester at Southwest Acupuncture College and be heading home. For a few weeks in December, we have gratefully accepted an invitation from Pastor Kay to stay at her house. Yesterday, Roger and I received an email from her letting us know that a new mattress had been ordered for the guest bedroom. Roger replied with his thanks to her and further said, "With Malinda coming home, I would be sleep on the floor." Oh my gosh, what a LOVE!
We've been married twenty-four years this coming March. I feel that we are closer now than we have ever been. And as I reflect back over the years, I can't remember our first year of marriage being as difficult as these 5 months have been. Three months after we were married, Roger was sent to Korea with the Air Force. In their infinite wisdom, they left me to serve in Louisiana. There are huge differences in these periods of separation. In 1987, we had no internet or Skype or texting (or cell phones like today's) for that matter! In fact, I put him on a commercial flight out of Des Moines, Iowa, and had no idea how to contact him in Korea...no mailing address...no phone number - of course I knew I could always contact him through the Military or the Red Cross. But I just remember taking him to the airport and thinking, "Okay, I guess I'll see you, when I see you." And off he went! Of course, I shed about a gallon of tears, right there in the airport...but I guess at 22 years old you just pick yourself up by your boot straps and soldier on!
I can't remember really what I did to occupy my time, except I was working and I think I watched a lot of MTV. Nothing like this separation where I'm in school a maximum of 3 hours per day. The rest of the time, I'm sitting right here at the dining room table studying. I think I've lived a healthier life this time - I have tried to "care" for myself by cooking good foods. I've napped when I felt like I needed to nap and I've reflected on this time and that time in the past.
There are times when the distance really doesn't seem that far, thanks to our morning Instant Message sessions on Gmail. And I think Skype is a fabulous tool to stay connected...that is until you hang up and then it kind of hits home how much you're missing out on. I find this to be especially true when we have Skype'd at my sister's house. Roger will go there for dinner on a regular basis and we connect up. It makes me miss everyone so much - to see their smiling faces and to know that they have enjoyed each other's company for a few hours. Nighttime is the worst for me - instead of going to bed and falling asleep, that is when my brain wants to kick in. Initially it was all about feeling "safe". I had to check and re-check that I had locked the door. And then, I wondered if I had turned off the stove. "Hum...now I need a drink" and all those other thoughts that the brain cycles through just to keep you awake. I still check the locks before I got to bed, but now the gymnastics that my brain is going through involve more thoughts about what is going on at home, what will the job market be like when I get there, will I go back to doing massage....what's Roger doing right at this instant? AND I have to admit, as annoying as it can be - I miss his "Darth Vader" breathing, right before he falls off to sleep.
So now, I'm counting down to the time when we are back in the same household. I feel like there is so much potential in our relationship and so many things that in the past I have taken for granted. Roger is my best friend, lover and rock. I only hope that he knows how thankful I am that all those years ago, he chose me. I love him with all my heart!