Nelson has been away for a week. We weren’t sure when he’d be back home due to the nature of his current project. In a sense, it’s been quiet without him.
The fact is, that’s almost impossible living under my parents’ roof. Between family from out of state, my brother and his fiance, as well as my sisters’ families, it just doesn’t get quiet around here all that often. As a matter of fact, I really wouldn’t have it any other way. But at night, coming to this empty room, with no one here to talk through the day, it is quiet.
It’s strange to me how just over a year ago this would have been normal. Nelson turned my “normal” upside down, and whether for a month or just a few days, being without him doesn’t seem right anymore.
Other young couples have commented recently to me. “I wouldn’t do good with that.” “I just don’t know how you do it.” “How do you handle him being away?” Well, the truth is, it’s hard. It’s really hard at times, but there is one factor that makes a huge difference for us.
So what’s the secret? It’s commitment. It’s having entered marriage with no way out. And for the record, it doesn’t mean going through life with someone you may “fall out of love with”. For us, this isn’t an option. It’s choosing to love passionately. It’s pursuing romance. It’s being mature enough to set aside momentarily feelings and frustrations to see the man you married, to appreciate his character, his quirks, and to even see your own faults. It’s actively choosing to find the reasons you love him, and it’s desperately missing him in his absence. It’s not easy, but it’s commitment.
I don’t want Nelson to be gone, but when he has to travel, nothing changes between us. So although in the quietness, I long for him to be home, I also know eventually I will see him again. Those return dates are special. It’s a miniature version of our wedding over and over again. When I spot him for the first time, I won’t take my eyes off of him. The anticipation of just being together will overwhelm my heart. So often, our culture has short-changed love as just a fleeting feeling. While it is sometimes expressed in this way, there is so much more to love than sentiments. Perhaps, if we simply chose to love the person we picked from the beginning, we’d find ourselves more content even at a distance. Just some thoughts amid the quietness tonight.