From A Distance

From a distance the world looks blue and green….anyone else have Bette Midler singing in their head?

Tom and I have had our fair share of time enduring long distance.

There was that time during grad school. Then we had it again our first year married when he went to basic training. The last time we tackled long distance, he was deployed.

We still have spent more time in a long distance relationship than we have in-person.

And we have been together for 7 and a half years…whomp whomp.

So at first when we realized that we would have to do long distance yet again for about a month, we thought it was no big deal.

We can do a month.

But y’all, I am here to tell you that a month is still hard!

This time we have a kid.

That for me was/is the hardest part of this separation. In times past yes we had things going on that we missed (holidays, traditions, random days, etc..). Yes one of those times, I wasn’t sure what Tom was doing most days and feared for his life.

But this one takes the cake on hard separation.

This time, Tom was missing out on big things in George’s life. And George was missing special time with his daddy.

That made this time much different. George made this one different and probably much more impatient with the situation.

Then add in that I was starting a new job and Tom was beginning his out-process in the Army, and the fact that we are in limbo land with a place to live.

A month is no big deal…

I actually think the shortness of it made it more difficult in some ways. Regardless of the time, long distance is hard.

Any long distance couple knows that communication is the key. The two of you have to find ways to keep connecting and be clear about whatever is going on with you.

That’s really the only advice I can give to those embarking on the long distance journey. Open communication. You have to figure out what that means to you. Even in our relationship, communication has looked different each time we have been apart. You have to adjust to the circumstances you are in. BUT open communication is still vital.

This time for Tom and I it meant texts and FB messaging throughout the day and calling Tom on my  commute. We didn’t chat much at night just because I usually fell asleep on the phone. Whoops. We Skyped a few times so George could see him, and I often had Tom on speaker so George could hear his voice on the phone.

Every day I would describe what new thing George did trying to keep Tom as involved as I could.

We have been searching for a place to live, so much of our Facebook chats have been sending each other links and discussing our options as I called realtor after realtor. (another blog post coming to you soon)

I will be honest, it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. We are both very stressed and arguments have happened. You just have to work through it, and for us that means hammering it out even if it calls for a late night. We are firm believers in not going to bed mad, but I know that doesn’t work for everyone. (My mantra here is to adapt to your situation…)

There has been a lot of trust in this separation. Trust that I could find us a suitable home and a caring person to take care of George. Trust that Tom could successfully part ways with the Army in time and gather all of our belongings without wanting to burn it all. (We have a lot of stuff, and for that I am thankful my husband is a master packer.)

I will just say that I believe this time was harder for Tom then it was for me. His whole support system was here in MO (mostly in one house since I have been staying with his parents.) He also was finishing the arduous task of leaving the military. There are lots of briefings to attend and boxes to check off. Oh the paperwork…The list of things he had to turn in and sign was astounding. He also had the mission of packing up our house since I just brought my clothes and George’s things in my car when I moved after having a two week notice that I needed to move. It was a mighty big undertaking. He really is the best for dealing with all of that, and I love him for it.

Tom called me many times because he was bored and had nothing to do or he would be stressed because he had everything to do.

I also had our sweet baby, so again, harder for Tom.

Army paperwork or George’s diapers–Clearly, I had the better deal.

And while, I was sort of a single mom for the month, I was fortunate to have the help from my in-laws. It would have been so much worse without them.

I will say that because I had a new job and a baby to take care of, the month did fly by. (Keeping busy is also key to a long distance relationship in my opinion.) Still a hard month, but luckily it went quickly.

Tom will be home this weekend. (Like forever home together) We will officially be a civilian family. Crazy to think we started this roller coaster ride 3 years ago with the military. And in 7 and a half years, this is the first time I can safely say that Tom and I will never again live in different places. (Unless Taylor Swift comes to her senses and sweeps him up from me…)

It has taken a lot for us to get here. There were times in the last year that I never thought it would come.

God is good. His plans come together for us even if they don’t go as according to our plan. And sometimes His plan is better than we could have ever imagined. (You’d think we would learn to let go of our own plans and not think that our plan is the master plan…but I digress.)

So happy the three of us will be back together again in a matter of days!

Tom, we are almost there. We have been dreaming of this day for so long. I love you, and thank you for all that you have done to get us here.

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 Have you done long distance? What is your sage advice?

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