Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Other Side of the World

     I miss my husband like crazy. That much probably goes without saying, considering that he's currently in Charlotte, NC, where his new job is, and I'm still in St. Louis, MO, until the middle of October. I'll have (hopefully!) finished my paralegal courses by then and can pack up the U-Haul to move our lives out of storage and across the mountains to North Carolina. I'm excited and scared all at once, which is exactly what I'm supposed to be feeling, according to everything I've read on the subject. Mostly, though, I'm just ready to have my life in order again.

     The hardest thing about our separation has been, for me anyway, the fact that I'm not there to care for my husband if/when something goes wrong with his health. He's been away from me for a number of weeks now and during all that time, there were no hospitalizations, no back flare-ups, nothing. It was actually the calmest period we've had, health-wise, in quite some time.

     I was so grateful for this, because before he left Missouri, we had made all kinds of plans of what he'd do in case he had to go to the hospital. Which hospital would he go to? What constituted an urgent care visit and what pushed it over into an emergency room visit? Would he remember to tell his friend Adam, with whom he'd be staying, to text me with updates on his condition should he get admitted, since the hospital walls usually ate his cell phone signal? These are the types of things most people don't have to think about when planning a move from one part of the country to another.

     None of our plans had to be enacted, though, until a couple of weeks ago. My husband was returning home after spending the afternoon visiting with his parents when he felt his back start to cramp and spasm. That's usually when I get involved and start asking him what I can do, if we need to go to the hospital and so on and so forth. This time, though, I was more than seven hundred miles away and completely useless.

     This sense of helplessness was hammered home when my husband called me a bit later to tell me that Adam had made his bed for him and helped him take off his shoes, because he'd been unable to reach down and do it himself. Those two seemingly insignificant tasks? Those were both things that I always did for my husband whenever we had to play the back-pain game and now someone else had to take over for me. The miles between us were never sharper and more painful than they were in that moment.

     I will say, though, that my moment of, "Oh my God, I'm supposed to be there," was extremely short-lived. In fact, almost as soon as I felt the frustration begin to well, it was gone just as quickly when I thought about how grateful I was that someone was there who cared about him. It wasn't me and God knows I wanted it to be, because it's always me and it's always us, but in the end we were fine, just as we always are.

     It still feels like he's so far away from me and next week can't come fast enough, as that's when I'm planning to drive out there so we can go together and find a place to live. That's the next step to getting our life back in order, I think, and I know he's just as tired of this separation nonsense as I am. I've never done the long-distance thing before and I'm dead positive that we're nowhere near the first couple to feel like there's a thousand miles separating us, but I can't help but feel that the sense of distance is heightened by what I know could happen with his health.

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