A few months ago, Christy took Aiden and Aly down to the mountains in Tennessee. It wasn’t the same college I visited when I was his age – the one where I knew I was home the moment I stepped foot on campus. No. This one was in Knoxville. But I’m sure I’ll wind up sharing more information about this college at a later date because it made a pretty big impression on all three College Tour participants. This wasn’t Aiden’s first college tour. It wasn’t his last (he and Christy visited another college not too long after returning from Tennessee). And I’m sure there will be a few more along the way, too.
Shortly after they left, I had a realization. And no, it’s not that I’m old. We’ve already discussed that. Remember? There was also a pretty frank discussion about it here, too. But that’s not the point. We know I’m getting older. We all are, aren’t we?
No, this realization was much more significant, honestly. Not only was I slightly jealous of the three of them because my homesickness for the mountains is basically par for the course for me now, but I also found myself moping around the house like a lost puppy. Seriously. I was lost. When I went in to the office that morning, I still found myself in a daze. I was still lost. And that’s when it hit me between the eyes.
I’m incomplete without Christy.
Don’t get me wrong, my life has been wrapped up in hers for more than 20 years. I’ve known her for more than half of my life. Our hearts are interconnected. We’re woven together.
And I’m completely, utterly, and wholly lost without her.
This is really nothing new. I’ve known this for more than 20 years. But I haven’t been able to find the words to it for some reason. And it’s not like this wasn’t the first time we had been apart. I mean, we’ve both flown halfway around the world without each other (you can read about those journeys here and here). We’ve spent weeks apart before. But it really hit me this time.
I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise. That’s what happens when you keep drawing closer to the one you love every day. Your lives get woven together. And when one isn’t there, you find yourself…lost…
Don’t get me wrong.
This isn’t some codependent thing. It’s more like a growth thing. We’re growing together.
While I don’t think I understand it completely yet (I might not ever understand it completely), I understand it more than I used to. And I definitely understand it more than I did some three decades ago when my Grandpa died.
I remember that day well.
I remember answering the phone. There was a somewhat frantic voice on the other end. I could hear commotion in the background. It was his sister inlaw asking for my mom.
I remember my aunt and uncle picking me and Kevin up and taking us to the mall. I bought my first Mike Warnke tape at Zondervan’s. I’m not gonna lie. I felt a little conflicted about it. Mike Warnke was a Christian comedian.* So I wasn’t sure if I should really spend my money on something that would make me laugh while I was still very sad that my Grandpa had just died a few hours ago. Such is the roller coaster of the human experience, though.
I remember while we were shopping, Mom was delivering the devastating news to Grandmama at work.
The thing I remember most, however, is how lost Grandmama was. Yes, she was in shock. But in retrospect it was like part of her had died that day, too. I didn’t understand that. And while I don’t know that I completely understand that today, I definitely have a better ideaof what was going on.
If I feel lost without Christy for just a weekend, I can’t imagine how lost Grandmama felt that day. My experience was but a taste. And I wasn’t too happy about it.
As we continue this journey of life together, we’re going to keep drawing closer together. That’s the point of marriage, isn’t it? You know, the whole “leaving and cleaving” thing. And the whole “two become one” thing.
I’m going to be more and more wrapped up in her. Our lives will be woven together even more. I know it sounds cliche. But I’ve come to love and appreciate Christy more every single day we’ve been together. She completes me. And I can’t imagine what the next twenty (or thirty or forty) years will be like and how many new things I’ll keep discovering about her. I’m not gonna lie. I’m pretty excited about it.
There are times where I’ll feel lost without her. I know that. But the moments with her are all the more exhilarating – even the “dull” everyday moments. Because I’m falling deeper in love with her than I ever thought possible.
There will be days ahead where I am lost without her.
In the meantime, I’ll just get lost in her eyes.
* He was pretty popular in church circles for many, many years. Until his much-publicized scandal. I was a big fan. If my memory is correct, the scandal broke just a few days after I saw him for the second (or maybe third) time live in Evansville. At the end of that concert, he had told the audience that he was actually born in Evansville. He also revealed that he had recently considered suicide. In hindsight, with the knowledge that the scandal was about to break and his house of cards was about to come toppling down, this isn’t a surprise. But it certainly was then. I’m glad he didn’t go through with it.
In a strange turn of events, I found myself sitting across a coffee table from him at a Christmas party in 1999. When he walked in the door, the host said, “Oh, Brother Mike is here. Praise God.” I had no idea he was referring to the Mike Warnke until I was face to face with him. I wasn’t sure what to say to him. So I didn’t say anything. I kind of regret that two decades later. So, Brother Mike Warnke, if you ever wind up reading this, thank you for making me laugh. You helped me get through a very difficult time of my life.