A Year Ago This Month…

A year ago this month, I stood in the airport with his parents, holding back tears as I watched him walk away from me, through the gate towards his awaiting plane.  It would be okay though, 8 months really wasn’t long to wait.  We would write, he said. And there was Christmas to look forward to.

HBL came and went.  It was way too fast.  And he wasn’t what I expected somehow – the same in ways I had expected…hoped…he’d be different.  But there were still some signs of change, of growth.  The way his hand fit into mine in an unfamiliar way – it was bigger.  He was bigger.  I soaked up every moment I could, and we rang in the first New Year I’d ever looked forward to.  I wasn’t as good at holding back my tears at 5am when I left him at the airport that time, but he kissed me goodbye, and before I’d even reached the parking lot I looked down at my phone – “I miss you already.”  I smiled through my tears.

An unexpected trip to Texas and Oklahoma for his graduation from Basic.  I treasured every second, every hug, every smile.  Only a few more months, he said, as I cried goodbye into his shoulder.  We’re almost halfway there.

A year ago this month lit the spark – 8 months of planning for all of our adventures when he returned.  8 months of what-ifs.  Could I be a military wife?  Could I make that sacrifice?  Somehow, without even knowing it, I almost already had.

8 months of writing every day.  Of sitting in the living room in agony, waiting for a shadow to fall across the living room floor, and the sound of the mail flap hitting the house to tell me there was mail.  8 months of staring anxiously at phones, willing them to ring, praying that some idiot hadn’t ruined weekend privileges for everyone.

8 months of waiting, of joy, of tears, of love, of hope. Of heartbreak.  Of letting go.

A year ago this month, I was moving towards one future…

Today I’m moving towards another.


17 thoughts on “A Year Ago This Month…

    • It’s funny because I always said I would never date anyone in the military until he came along! It just takes such a strong person – I consider that a huge compliment, thank you :)

      Unfortunately, our relationship wasn’t able to go the distance and it ended the week he got back, in June.

      It was definitely a great learning experience though!

    • Thank you Mimi! Starting over can be hard, but the new future I’m planning now looks even brighter than the one in my rear-view mirror :) xoxo

  1. Thank you for sharing this story. I think we all have similar ones. I love your positive attitude and appreciation for the experience…you don’t seem to regret it and that’s a good thing I think because it makes you stronger and you take your learning with you. Wouldn’t you agree?

    • So true, Diana, I think a lot of people have a “practice love”. That one relationship that teaches you the most about commitment and what it means to actually start considering spending a lifetime with someone.

      As sad as part of me is (and may always be) that things ended the way they did, it’s obvious to me now that it’s over why our relationship would never have worked out in the long term. You’re right though, it’s not something I regret. Although it was probably the most difficult (romantic) relationship I’ve ever been in, it taught me the more about myself and what I want from life than I would have learned otherwise.

      Thank you so much for your kind comment :) I’m glad you could relate.

  2. Beautifully written — Moving on/Letting can be quite difficult, but when you come to the realization that the road ahead holds more happiness and promise than that of the one in your “rear-view mirror” – you know it’s going to be ok. Good luck with your future planning!

  3. Pingback: Burning Bridges « RainUnderTheSun

  4. This is a side of you I have not met, yet. I’ll have to go back and read older posts to catch up. I do recall the letter-burning one, but didn’t know the context. I get some sense of things from the comments. I did something similar some 30 years ago… worked in Las Vegas one summer, fell in love, thought it was mutual, moved back to Los Angeles, tried to keep it going… it limped on for seven years until it was finally obviously over (on her part, mine not so much). I spent an evening burning all her letters and photos. It was cathartic.

    And my marriage only lasted about four years, so I’m no stranger to loving and losing. It’s tough, and it sucks. But life goes on, and the world is filled with interesting things and people. That may not be what we signed up for,.. but it’s something.

    • It’s not something I’d written about too much in the past, actually! Our relationship had just ended about the time I started this blog, and I think it was kind of a nice way to keep my mind off of thinking about it, at first. Now that I have a bit more distance from things, it’s easier to write about – I find it hard to write a story without an ending, and I finally discovered that the ending of our story truly is the beginning of another – much better – one :)

      The ending of things is always a difficult time (why is burning things so cathartic?? I don’t know, but it really is). Especially when you hate letting go of things – even if you know you need to. The process of relationships, whether their romantic or platonic, is always a process of heartbreak. But also of joy – so I suppose it’s worth it! Great comment, I especially loved the last line.

      • One might say that our personal stories don’t have beginnings and endings (except the first and the last (and the jury is still out on the last)), but we do have chapters and sections. Mine certainly has major sections where some major characters leave and others enter the tale (just like any good long-winded saga).

        Burning is primal! Fire is one of the four elements of old, and has been part of our human story since the beginning. And it’s captivating… fractal… always the same, always different. Ending in fire. Birth from ashes. Core ideas. (Also, it toasts marshmallows.)

        Like many important things in life, relationships have those high peaks of joy, wonder and deep dark valleys of pain, misery. I’m not sure you get the former without the latter. And I think… definitely worth it. As they say, “Better to have loved and lost than to never have loved a tall.” (Or, I assume, a short or a medium.)

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