It was a Saturday night in the city. A chill in the air because it was February but not enough to keep people from being out and about. Maybe the city never really sleeps. I don’t know. We hustled against the chill, the sun already setting. Warmth waited behind the heavy wooden doors. My husband…
Sorry to leave you hanging. As you can imagine, it’s been a busy couple of days. My husband, indeed, returned to us on Sunday night, and we’ve been visiting family and friends ever since. We’re currently in a hotel in Mattoon, one day of visiting here down, one to go. My whole family is sleeping, finally. Isabelle didn’t nap today and her overtired self resisted any attempts at sleep. Corban put himself to sleep while all of that was going on, and my husband succumbed to sleep at some point, too. He deserves it. He didn’t sleep much in the days leading up to his return.
Me, I’m not even tired. OK, that’s probably not true. I’m probably overtired, too. But snuggled in a hotel bed with a toddler and a gigantic five-month-old is not conducive to sleep for me. After too much time staring at the blinking smoke alarm light on the ceiling, I find myself here, unsure what to say, but needing to say something. And hoping that my body will shut itself down soon and I’ll be able to get a few hours of sleep.
I wanted to tell you about how separation from my husband helps me understand my relationship with Jesus better. When Phil was in Iraq, almost five years ago now, we had to learn how to develop a relationship while not in each other’s physical presence. I think it’s easy to take relationships for granted when you see the person a lot or are with them much of the time. When he came home from Iraq, even though I knew he was on his way, it wasn’t really real until I could hug him and see him.
This is what my relationship with Christ is like. I know He’s there. We have lines of communication open. I know He loves me. But until I see Him face to face, until I can touch Him, my faith will be just faith, not reality.
Living by faith is hard. Loving people is hard. Life in general is hard. But in the blink of an eye, it all changes. When I saw my husband again after three weeks, I didn’t feel like we’d been apart at all.
May it be so when I finally see my Jesus.
Day 21. We spent the day in Chicago with my brother and his girlfriend. I forget how much I love Chicago until I’m there again. We had lunch at a place my brother frequents, Broadway Cellars, and then went to Shedd Aquarium so Isabelle could see the “fishies.” She’s been talking about that for weeks now.
No matter how far away we live, no matter what other cities are nearby and what attractions they offer, Chicago will always feel like home. The sights are recognizable. I have memories from childhood to adulthood of visiting museums, shopping, hanging out with friends, eating, and riding the Metra and the “L.” All that was missing today was my husband. He loves Chicago, too, and half or more of those memories were made with him.
He rejoins our family tomorrow. He missed Chicago by a day. But in the spirit of good Cubs fans, which we are, there’s always next time.