I love you. These three words don't seem to provide any justice to my actual feelings, yet I say them to you all the time anyway.
9 weeks. In the grand scheme of our life together, this does not seem like a long time. But when you consider that it was the longest period of time we have ever spent apart in over a decade of being together, it feels like an eternity. I know it was a choice we made together (which some people couldn't fathom being apart from each other for that long), but we did so with our children's safety in mind. It proves to me that you put your family above all else. It proves to me that you love your children and want to protect them. And it proves to me that we have a relationship so solid that not being physically together as a family didn't matter. We could be 8000 miles away from each other and still love one another as much as possible.
Sure there was a lot that we missed. I missed cuddling, holding hands, and other physical joys ;-). I missed talking at length about a surgery you had, or your soccer game, or about each hole of golf you played. We knew there were limits on how long we could talk (the time difference made that difficult). And the kids only had an attention span of about 3 minutes on the phone. Gavin missed playing Wii with you. Evelyn missed having you throw her in the air and play puzzles. We missed Saturday mornings at the bakery, Sunday morning homemade breakfasts, walks after dinner, and bedtime stories.
But more than anything, I fell more in love with you once we returned to you! I cried when I saw you after our 22 hour trek home. Even though the kids were seriously perfect angels almost the whole time, it was such a relief to know I had my partner back. You rented a van to pick us up because you knew we had a ton of luggage and would like space to relax and sleep on the drive home. You missed a soccer game to come get us (which I KNOW is a big deal for you)! We came home and opened the door to find the house decorated with streamers and balloons and flowers and presents for us all. You knew the perfect gifts for each one of us...Gavin got Star Wars 3 lego Wii game, Evelyn got a new puzzle and hungry hungry hippos and I got a beautiful arrangement of flowers in a Tiffany's vase.
And to top off the thoughtfulness you displayed, my mom emailed me to let me know that she and Kaitlin received a surprise arrangement of flowers with a beautiful note of how appreciative you were that they went above and beyond and took care of us when we were in the states. I feel like you are courting me all over again and doing all the 'right' things to prove that you are an amazing husband. But, I already knew you were. This just cements it even more. You are so thoughtful, caring and loving. And I am so honored to have you. So even though the words seem meek...I will say them again.
I love you.