Today I called the number that’s saved in my Contacts as your “home” phone number and listened to the familiar recording: “This is the _____ Air Force Base multifunction switch. All attendants are busy. Please remain on the line until an attendant becomes available or try again later…This is the…” And then she repeats the message. Lately I haven’t had to wait very long. Once I waited maybe 7 minutes.
“Operator 34, how may I help you?”
“Hi, I’d like to place a morale call to a DSN please.”
“What’s the number?”
And then I read off the number. I always read it — it’s saved in my phone — even though you would think I’d have it memorized after calling several times a week for over a year.
Today the call dropped twice, but on the third try we got to talk for a nice long time without any more problems.
I will sure be glad to be able to talk with you without going through this process. It will be nice to not have to worry about the call dropping, when I can just call around the corner or sit with you on the couch. When we live together again.
Can you believe we made it through this?
You’re probably reading this and shaking your head at me a little right now. I know, I always analyze everything to pieces.
But it’s amazing, it really is.
How do we measure the time that has passed?
Maybe in birthdays (2 of mine, 1 of yours) or anniversaries (#2) spent apart? Maybe in the personhood development of our niece, who was a squirmy infant when I moved in (3 months old) and who is now a bright and mobile toddler who knows when she’d rather eat yogurt than an egg (18 months old)? Maybe in how long my hair has gotten? Or in that I think I’ve forgotten most of your favorite foods?
Maybe nothing has changed. Maybe a lot has changed. Probably somewhere in between.
I guess I’ll find out soon what it feels like to really be on the other end of this strange journey and launching into whatever comes next.
I hope I remember how much I wanted you sleeping beside me on so many nights. I hope I remember what a gift it is to just say what is coming to mind without waiting for a time when we’re both free to talk. I hope I remember looking at the lawn and wishing you were here to edge it properly. I hope I remember to enjoy the convenience of being in the same time zone with you. I hope I remember all the times I stood in church, praying for you, and looking forward to one day being there with you.
It’s easy to take people, even the ones we really love, for granted. I hope that this time apart has cured me of that where you are concerned, at least for a little while. And when I forget, well, you can point me back to this little bit of writing.