“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is all around.”

Long-distance relationship; reuniting at airport

Twenty-four hours from now, my husband will be power-walking through the rainbow tunnel at O’Hare airport, busting through the silver double doors, and searching through the crowd for me. He won’t have to look very hard, because my guess is that I will be running towards him, probably as I break into ugly sobs.

It has been 40 days since I’ve last seen my husband in-person, and to say I can’t wait for tomorrow is an understatement of epic proportions. I think the hardest element of being apart has just been the lack of companionship. When something great happens in my day, or it’s been a catastrophe, I can’t wait to get home and talk to him, tell him about it, complain or celebrate. But he’s not home. And by the time we talk, the moment has passed, the emotion is cold, there’s no need to rehash the drama.

How was your day? Oh you know, the usual.

Anything new happen today? Not really.

The longer we spend time apart, the less we feel compelled to share the minute details of our days, and instead, our conversation turns to the big stuff, the heavy stuff, the my gosh, I miss you so much I can’t believe it stuff. Conversations have quickly turned from “How was practice?” to “How soon do you think you can move out here?”, from “Well, work was crazy today…” to “So I looked at a few more apartments…”.

Being apart does crazy things to your psyche. I read an article yesterday about the proposed closing of a “supermax” prison in our home state, one whose signature is 23 hours a day in continuous solitary confinement. The article termed it “smothering isolation.” The former inmate that they interviewed, now a successful paralegal, says he developed coping mechanisms such as obsessive counting. By no means am I saying my life is that horrific, or my problems are anything near what these prisoners, deserved or not, are subjected to. But I very much connected to the story on a superficial level, knowing how the loss of companionship can drive you to think crazy thoughts.

Those who know me are aware that I make plans, and despite my efforts to the contrary, I can get very high-strung when things go awry {as they often do.} But the “smothering isolation” of being away from my partner in crime of nine years has led me to develop coping mechanisms of my own, mostly in the form of whining and researching get rich quick schemes so I can move to California faster {I kid, I kid. But it would be awfully nice to win the lottery!}. The unpleasantness of having a bad day and not having my husband here to offer a hug or an uninterrupted ear really drills down into my core. I can’t speak for him, but from the amount of whining he’s doing, I imagine he’s feeling the same way. It’s enough to make me consider abandoning all of my possessions and carefully plotted plans to hop on the next blue jet leaving Chicago.

But for the next seven glorious days, we don’t have to worry about a time difference, or California, or work…just he and I, and all that we hold dear in life: family, friends, and heavy lifts.

Good luck to you at Nationals, my dear husband, and may our hearts continue to grow to fill the distance between us.

PS: See you tomorrow! If you don’t remember what I look like, I’ll be the one sobbing outside the baggage claim area.

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