Sarah and Jeff

Mexico dophins

 

I suppose we are the lucky ones.

Our relationship was born out of being apart. We spent little time together in that first year, but it taught us how to communicate. Since then, he has become the one person with which I can share anything. No one listens like he does. Even to the little things – like a story of a new pair of shoes – he listens.

And then I listen. His troubles at work, the coffee he regrets having had that day, or the fact he did his laundry.

In the beginning, listening was all we had; now it’s our strength. The separation gave us a bedrock foundation. In the two years since, we’ve carved out time to spend together – to continue building.

Scuba diving in Bora Bora, zip lining in Alaska, dancing at a luau in Hawaii, riding elephants in Bali, swimming with dolphins in Mexico, watching a Russian ballet in St Petersburg, climbing a waterfall in Norway – all events the two of us have treasured, together. But with each adventure, there are always goodbyes. Ours have been countless. We don’t cry – at least, not in front of each other. I save my tears until he is gone.

Arrivals, however, are a different story. No matter the country, it’s always the same: waiting, watching, thinking that’s him – only see it’s someone that resembles my love, calming myself down, and repeating the process several times again. But, then I see him and can’t contain myself; I run. He responds with the smile that asks, What is she doing as I leap into his arms. Tight hugs, lots of kisses, and tears – yes, tears – as we welcome each other back to this gift of a moment.

These are the moments where our love shines. This is when I can stop the countdown clock that’s in my head, on my wall, on my computer – the clock that says when we will be together again. These are the moments where nothing matters other than the fact that he is here, in the same country, holding my hand. The hand that now has an engagement ring on it.

We walked into this relationship with our eyes open; we knew that our immigration process would be a challenge. We decided to apply for a UK visa. We haven’t spent this much time apart since our first year together. We knew that would be the case, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Yet, we’ve done it before – we can do it again.

I suppose we are the lucky ones.