this summer was an appetizer

He walked in the door late last night and we embraced. I knew my time with him was short as he had a "shelf" exam (test at the end of each rotation) in the morning and needed a major cramming session. Furthermore, I was on-call at work (those darn mandatory over time shifts) and could get called away at any time. A solid ten minute hug turned into big crocodile tears of relief. Andrew is home, home. For reals, home. "Summer" is over. It certainly has not been an easy summer. Besides recovering from our miscarriage and grieving that loss, the mister and I were apart for 2 and a half months. He was first living in Stayton for his rural rotation and then in Salem for his OB/GYN rotation. Ten weeks of little visits here and there; 10 weeks of short phone convos or little texts just to semi keep in touch. Our opposite schedules didn't help either. He mostly worked 7am-7pm while I work the opposite. Thankfully, he was relatively close to Portland and we made little visits as much as possible, but time is precious and certainly limited.
This summer has been a strength-building time. Strength in getting through each day, strength in not being an emotional basket-case (at least about him being gone), strength in sometimes not letting him know just how hard it was to have him gone. Just how much the quiet house made me sad. Because, he's thriving. He's learning. He's doing the work he was called to do. As am I. I'm learning to support him in this career of his. This life of ours. I'm learning to be the best wife I can be.
In the shortest way to possibly describe it, this summer was an appetizer. A small tasting for what our future will continue to look like for many years to come. I can chose to enjoy this appetizer and make the most of it, or have it ruin the rest of the meal. Here I am, peeking through a crack in the wall at what a future deployment(s) or TDY (temporary duty assignment) time will look like. At what busy residency may look like. I know that on the other side of that wall is a vast field of beauty. Hills of knee-high grass, wild flowers, shady trees, a beautiful home of our very own and a family of youngsters. And, we will thrive together as one. We will continue serving, continue living with the same passion and love for each other. These hard times will make us stronger. The hard times will keep coming. The beautiful times too. 

I think the Lord gave me a little extra dose of strength to get through this time apart. He gave me those little bouts of energy to make it for short visits, a little extra emotional-self-control, a little extra braveness. He certainly knows what his children need. His grace is sufficient.

Welcome home babe. Let's have a great weekend together sans work/school!