With three kids, a ridiculously exacting full-time job, and a thousand other demands on her attention, Jersey girl rarely finds the time to do what she does so very well; write. When she does, she blows me away every single time. It should be very clear just from reading this piece why I love her so.
Your house is waiting, your house is waiting
For you to walk in, for you to walk in
But you’re missing, you’re missing
You’re missing when I shut out the lights
You’re missing, when I close my eyes
You’re missing, when I see the sun rise
One would think that after years of long distance comings and goings, that it would become a part of the routine. That the condensed and intense periods of constant togetherness followed by months of separation would set a rhythm that we would adjust to. We’ve done this for over 3 years now. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
I remember before we met physically for the first time, I said that I just wanted one opportunity to be with you in the same space. If I could just have that, I could feel complete. I believed it too. I certainly underestimated the strength of my emotions and I was blindsided by the instant bond between us the very first time I put my arms around you in that airport. You were the most familiar and intimate complete stranger I had ever met. We’ve always said we fell in love from the inside out. Never did I feel it more than in that moment.
While I do believe that it is true that 2 people do not have to be in the same place to be in love, I also have to acknowledge that it is a very important part of the whole of any relationship. It’s the part where we learn the most important things about someone. Smells, tastes, touch, facial expressions, body language – they are the unspoken truths about ourselves. Those are the things we can’t fake and we can’t hide from. We can hide behind words. We can say what someone wants to hear or refrain from saying things that might hurt someone. We can’t conceal our reactions in the nonverbal world.
I did not anticipate how hard it would be for me to let down my physical guard. You saw it in my initial reaction to you. I was terrified. There is a lot of heavily guarded baggage behind my flesh and bone exterior. Yet you did it. You knew my mind and my heart so well that you did the thing no one else could. Over the years, we’ve chipped away at the facade. Now my mind, body, and soul are all in balance with you. It’s something I’ve never had in my life, so it feels particularly cruel that the physical element isn’t always possible. I remind myself that the long stretches of time in between visits was and is necessary. I could not have made the necessary changes to get us where we are without them. Real intimacy does not happen quickly, and I’ve learned along the way that very few people ever experience it at all. We all try to get to it, but it requires an honesty about ourselves that most simply cannot accept.
I remember in the beginning, you used to exasperate me with endless questions. There were things about me that didn’t make sense. Inconsistencies between my words and my actions. You always made me account for them. Every time. Without exception. It was an inside joke between us…”Oh – you’ll go there.” No matter how uncomfortable or how much time it took. I didn’t understand it then, but during that time we built the foundation for what we have now. And we will continue to build it. I will never take it for granted because I know that I will never find this again in this world.
As I put the final papers in this morning for the visa application that will allow us to be together for the rest of our lives, it hit me. I understand, for the very first time, the sacredness of marriage. I know what it feels like to have no doubt and to know that we are both 100% committed to each other no matter what this life has in store. The experience to get here was hard for a reason. It was hard because, for you, I was willing to do all of the things I wouldn’t do for any other person. For you, I put aside my fear and my ego because it was necessary to have this love in my life. To have you as my husband and my partner in this world, there is no sacrifice too great. I love you. Always.