Wednesday, August 11, 2010

a love (short)story

i never will blog about chad being out of town when he is actually out of town. he was in cuba the week before last for a little over a week. i was a little worried about this trip because of a menagerie of reasons, one of them being that i knew we would have no communication. i would have been hard-pressed to get in touch with him if my life depended on it...which is just a bit un-nerving being at home with 4 kids by myself. we made it though! and there was only 1 night out of all of them that i thought i could possibly "lose it" and that was due to an unfortunate lock-the-keys-in-the-car-stranding-us-away-from-home-for-several-hours incident.

i realized about half way into the trip that it wasn't just hard on me anymore. colton is not a naive kid and he finally voiced his concern about chad's safety in a place like cuba. he knew that he could get in trouble for training church planters over there and worried about things like him "being captured" and persecution and even him being killed for what he was doing. that was a very adult conversation that i wished had been had before chad left and made me realize that the knot in my stomach was also in colton's.
colton missed his dad. he said, "he's my best friend, mom. and i miss him a lot." there were several nights that i tucked him in and had to wipe his tears and whisper reassurances. i wanted to say, "he's my best friend too, and i miss him and need him more than you could ever imagine." but i didn't feel like he was capable of taking on my burden, concerns, and loneliness too. my weakness would have to be saved for another time. chase wanted dad too. he wanted him when he couldn't get the lego ship just right or when he knew he would normally be scratching his back during tuck in time. aiden wanted her prince. she wanted him around 5:00 when he normally comes in and rescues his maiden from whatever it is she needs rescuing from. she missed his bedtime prayers and scruffy beard cheeks. annslee knew he was gone. she knew that the manly smelling, dark bearded, tender faced calmness was not holding her when she woke in the night anymore. she knew that he wasn't the one who was gently dressing her after her bath each night. i believe a few of her cries where due to wanting him and not knowing where he was and if he was coming back for her. and me? i missed him for all of their reasons, as well as my own. i missed knowing he was coming home. i missed his voice. i missed his calming influence on my racing thoughts. i missed him when i had to feed the frogs live crickets. i missed his smell. i missed him when it was dinner and bath time. i missed his opinion. i missed his help. i couldn't wait to see him.
i thought i was getting used to his long trips away, but i suppose i'm not. you would have thought he had been gone for months. i don't know if it is the 4 being a baby thing, a hormone due to nursing thing, or what? but none-the-less, that's how it felt. we knew he was supposed to get in tuesday night and i woke up that day in preparation mode. i was going to get the house picked up so that he would come home to comfort. i was going to get myself ready for if he was picking me up for a date like he did 11 years ago. i headed to the store to get what i wanted to make for him for dinner and desert around 10 am. while i was there, i got the first text since he flew out from him that said he was getting ready to board his connecting flight in cancun and that he would call as soon as he landed in houston. i was super excited to be able to text him back and told him to save his appetite because i was at the store as we spoke getting stuff for a big meal. he replied with, "at target...folding in clothes purchases again? :)" we bantered back and forth and i told him that i was at kroger...being very sensible and only buying what was necessary...thank you very much. we were texting the whole time i was at the check out and i made a special point of telling the checker that i was sorry that i was texting while she was serving me, but that my husband had been in cuba for over a week and that i had not been able to communicate with him until just then. he said that he was signing off and that he would see me that night. i loaded my cart with my groceries and walked out of the store, stopped and was in the middle of texting him back to be careful and that i loved him when i heard a "hey." i looked up and there he was!!! he had caught an early flight, and had pulled up to the store and rolled down the window and was watching me text him back. i dropped my jaw and pushed my basket out of the way and ran to him. i even felt some of those butterflies that had been sleeping, wake up and start fluttering around in my stomach.
he followed me home and i walked in the backdoor and told the kids that i had brought them home a surprise from the grocery store. they closed their eyes...expecting popsicles, and when they opened them..........daddy was home.


Lindsey said...

that brought me to tears, mindy.

Laura said...

That is like the best story ever. Oh my goodness. Thanks for sharing! :)

meredith said... the kids will remember that forever. love how you love your family & your husband.

Giulian & Christy Giusti said...

Best story yet. Thanks for sharing Mindy!

Anonymous said...

I really hope one day you put all these posts into a book.
This was one of the best yet. Priceless!!!!

-sarah wyatt