He had been gone for an entire week. I'm pretty sure it was the longest week of my entire life. It felt like it. That week felt like a month, maybe even two.
I arrived at the airport early. I was convinced that if I got there earlier, his plane would also. I anxiously awaited at the bottom of the escalator - keeping an eye on Tommy who was fascinated with the vending machines and kept screaming happy screams and entertaining the airport janitors. We waited there for what felt like hours even though it was actually fifteen minutes.
And then I saw his shoes - his camo Crocs that he wears with everything. His feet were the first to appear coming down the escalator toward us.
And then there he was - my man. Teary-eyed. A look of love and relief washed over his face when he saw us.
I felt something inside of me I haven't felt since the beginning of us.
They were as real as the first time I ever felt them with Todd - the night he first held my hand. I didn't know I would feel those ever again, but I did. I smiled and rejoiced within myself at feeling them.
Tommy stood there for a moment, a bit shocked to see his dad, even though I had talked to him all day long about going to get daddy that day. And then he ran to him and put his arms up and I cried because I was hoping he would gift him with that kind of homecoming.
We hugged and kissed and Todd held Tommy and I held him and my sunglasses fell off my head. We stood in the middle of the airport, our little family - standing, loving, embracing, reuniting. Precious sweet moments that I wish I could bottle up into something tangible so I could have that moment with me for always.
There has been a shift between us in the last several months. The kind of shift that has felt disrupting and messy to navigate through together. And in that, I had feared that maybe we lost something along the way. The thing you lose when you stop feeling butterflies and you push away passionate kisses and you start asking questions you never thought you would ask.
Todd's trip to Michigan was an answer to a prayer of my heart that I had longed to see become a reality for a very long time. His going reminded me that God is at work in the hearts of others that I love, even if I can't see it in the ways I am wanting to see it.
As hard and long as last week felt, I needed that time. I needed him to be gone. I needed to live life without him for a week. I needed to have the opportunity to miss him like that. I needed to take out the trash and feed the dog and put gas in my car and sleep in my bed all alone - to feel the weight of his absence and the absence of who he is in our home and family. He needed to be there, and I had to be here. I think most of all, I needed to know that the thing I was fearing we had lost hadn't really been lost after all.
Our reunion was sweet. Our weekend together has been so wonderful that I didn't even pick up my camera to capture anything because all I wanted to do was hold his hand and rest in his arms and catch up on kisses. It seems I discovered this weekend that I not only love my husband, but I am still very much in love with him.
And I wasn't expecting butterflies. They just came - unexpected and fleeting and magical - they came.