I got this week’s phone call tonight.
I missed him so much yesterday. I was pretty sad last night. My feet hurt and I just wanted a foot rub. But then I had to laugh because he didn’t really give foot rubs before. So I guess I’m not really missing anything there.
It’s just that sometimes I’d like to have his arm around me. His hand on mine in church. His presence to ask questions of or run things by before making decisions.
He is my husband. The other half of our “one flesh” His absence feels like part of me is torn away and I’m left with a gaping wound.
In the last several weeks, I am doing much better. I am feeling more like my old self. I am gaining energy and a clarity I didn’t have recently.
In some respects, I feel like this has been a grief process and I am moving through the stages.
Now that I’m feeling better, I am also feeling guilty. I feel odd that I’m not so heavy hearted about this. It feels strange to have a spring in my step and laughter that bubbles much more easily.
However, I know that moving on and establishing a life without him home right now is what we have to do. God holds us in his hands and he breathes his life and love over us. He cheers me on when I put one foot in front of the other.
Previously I did this because I had to. Lately it’s easier to get up in the morning. Easier to do my work. My heart while sad isn’t squashed under a burden of grief.
When the phone rang tonight, I heard “For English press 1” and I smiled a huge smile.
This was my husband calling. I pressed 1 and then 0 to accept the call. I gave no thought to the fact that this call cost me $7. I just so wanted to speak with my love.
We have learned how to talk fast and to cram a lot of speaking into 15 minutes.
He spoke with our son first. Son talked and talked and talked and talked. Lots of times he is busy and doesn’t want to say more than a few words to Daddy so I let him talk. He laughed and giggled and joked with Daddy. He told him how much he loves the paper plane that Daddy sent.
“It is sweet!” were his words.
Finally, I wrested the phone from him to speak with my husband.
We cover a lot of ground in these short minutes. I told him about selling the junker car for a little bit of money to his nephew, a couple of funny stories from the week, asked him if he got any letters from people at church, and told him about work.
He told me about his job. He was hired and promoted on the first day. He will get promoted next week again. He is working in the kitchen for .19 an hour.
It gives him something to keep busy and he earns a little money for canteen. (Money I don’t have to send him.)
He told me about the church service today.
I thanked him for all the sweet things he has been writing me.
He said the last photo I sent him of our son made him cry.
He asked when I’m going to visit.
Then the “thank you for using…” cut in and shut off the call.
Quite a bit of conversation for such a short call. These moments breathe life into our weary hearts. We are able to touch base for a short time. To reach out to each other for a moment.
It’s a “I’m still here.” “I love you” “This won’t be forever” we both pass these words of hope back and forth. Holding on…trying to believe…truly this won’t be forever and we just have to endure right now.
I am never able to call him. He tries to call no more than twice a week due to the cost. So we speak quickly and try to cram a week’s worth of living and questions and love into these minutes.
The phone hangs up. I smile and sigh and pray.
“Lord we need you.”