Independence

Independence

You learn a great deal about yourself while living alone. You find an inner strength you may not have known was there. You find reasons to smile when your better half is hundreds of miles away. You find ways to share your strength and love through the distance that is  temporarily separating you.

Twenty-five days ago a new chapter began for Jason and I. A chapter that brought him to Southwest Florida, while I remained here in NE Tennessee.

I have gone through a slew of emotions in that time period. Emotions that have ranged from happy to sad and everything in between. Those consuming emotions even led to a few break downs that I had to push myself through … which sometimes took too long to conquer.

The best part of those emotions is the love I have for this man has never wavered or been questioned. Jason’s love is what helps me through each and every day a part.

We have grown “heaps” in this time span. We have shown each other that the foundation we created cannot be rocked even in the trying times we are experiencing right now. Our communication has only strengthened. Yes, even through the countless hours we are both working to make ends meet to close this chapter.

The first night he was away I started something that I now look forward to doing every day. This new routine shows Jason that my spirits are soaring even through a couple hiccups. This new kind of sharing, I know helps him through his 15 hour days of work.

One of my favorite times of the day is at the end of Jason’s work day when my phone begins ringing. It’s his comforting tone, his reassurance that carries me through another day. It’s those simple, but yet powerful words “I love you” “I miss you” and “see you soon” that continue to give us both the strength we need.

The beauty of all of this is I have become extremely independent. A kind of independent I have never experienced before. An independence that is invigorating, empowering and incredibly satisfying.

I am proud to say that I have not been confined to my home while Jason is away. Independence.

I am proud to say my appetite that was pretty nonexistent at the beginning has resurfaced. I have dived into a new-found passion of finding new black bean recipes and making myself an incredibly delicious meal. Independence.

I have found the strength to carry on. To continue one of my found loves – running! Yes, although I bring Lucy with me, Independence.

Lucy and I have been venturing down to the Greenbelt quite often, which continues to help me sort through my thoughts, while keeping the positive energy flowing through every cell of my body.

Today we ran 3.78 miles. I’m proud of us for going this distance, especially since it was one of the hotter days since the awful cold winter months.

LUcy 2Whenever we are done with our run, I let Lucy explore and sniff an area on the Greenbelt. Often times it’s the same area.

Lucy 3She loves watching the ducks, which were quite active today. They were quacking, splashing and making all kinds of noises drawing Lucy in and keeping her attention.

Lucy 4 I have to admit the picture below is my favorite of today.

LucyThat oh so long tongue . . .

Signs of spring continue to surface all over Kingsport. It’s such a beautiful time of the year.

new life edit

flower editI know we are nearing the end of our time a part and a new countdown will begin soon. A countdown of when I can see Jason in person. A countdown when I can go running into his arms. A countdown of when we will be in the same space again.

I truly believe there is nothing we cannot accomplish as a couple, and as two separate individuals.

One day down . . .

One day down . . .

One day down . . . . hard to say how many more to go.

So far today no tears have been shed. This alone is a huge accomplishment. Yes, I’m a very emotional person, so when you add a an experience like yesterday into the mix . . . well . . .

For no reason at all, and at the most bizarre moments, tears fell freely yesterday.

They started because of text messages exchanged between friends and family, Facebook comments from friends sharing their experiences or simply just looking at one of my favorite photographs of Jason and I. Those tears made sense.

The trip to the bank, on the other hand, took me by surprise.

Yesterday after leaving the bank, I was driving down the road, a road I travel quite frequently, when all of a sudden they started falling. Within a couple of minutes the tears stopped, although the thoughts about Jason and I carried on.

Jason and I

The best part about my day was when Jason made it to Fort Myers and the text messages were being exchanged more frequently. He was so good about calling or sending me a text message every time he stopped letting me know where he was, how he was doing and how much further he had to go.

Although I knew he was going to be okay on the drive, it’s my nature to worry. So when I got the text that he is now in his parents driveway, the weight on my shoulders, which I didn’t know existed, became lighter.

There were a string of text messages that had me laughing out loud when he started explaining why he couldn’t fall asleep. I could hear him, I could sense the laughter as he was typing the words. The best part about these messages is they appeared right before a board meeting I had to cover last night. Those messages lifted my spirits, giving me the strength to smile and put my emotions on hold for the duration of the meeting.

From that point on I felt my mood change. I felt a little lighter. Jason did it once again and he’s hundreds of miles away. Jason lifted my spirits. With those simple goofy texts he reminded me that we are going to be okay. I still have the love, support and humor of a man . . . I just don’t have him right next to me.

After I returned from my meeting, before going to bed, my breathing and mood returned to its normal state. I talked to Jason. I heard his voice, his reassurance, his love.

I had to share how much of an impact that phone call had on me, so I took a picture of Lucy, my puppy and I, and sent it to Jason. My smile was genuine, big as always, to show Jason we will get through this.

I didn’t cry myself to sleep, like I did that morning after he left.

Before I drifted to sleep on his side of the bed, I remember my thoughts turning from how much I miss him already, to this is only temporary, we will be together soon.

This morning I woke to a text message from Jason sharing his thoughts on the picture I sent, which were followed by more messages and a phone call. Yep, hearing his voice put me on track . . . I already finished a few articles this morning and turned them into my editor.

When you share the kind of love and support that Jason and I share, you can overcome any obstacle you are faced with.

My spirits are high, which I know is giving Jason the positive energy he needs to accomplish our plans and goals.


Here are the two blogs that explain how we got to this point . . .

An extremely hard decision: March 6, 2015 : https://meghan80.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/an-extremely-hard-decision/

 

Flowing freely: March 9, 2015: https://meghan80.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/flowing-freely/

His patience, his love

Every road I traveled,

eventually led me back to you. 

In the ten years we spent apart, you crossed my mind from time to time. Your face filled my thoughts at the rarest moments, as I wondered where you ended up and how you were doing.

Unfortunately because how things ended when we were younger, a void I did not know needed filling, stayed that way for way too many years. That void was the friendship we built in high school, a foundation that I now know never could be broken even during the years we did not speak.

At the young age of 16, you left an everlasting imprint on my heart. You showed my heart the power of love, the impact a friendship could have on someone. You were my high school sweetheart, the first boy I let into my world.

Still to this day when I hear Metallica playing on the radio, it brings me back to you and the times we spent playing cards on the patio. And to think, that is just one beautiful memory that often times leaves me smiling.

Fast forward to 2009, as a man, you have changed my world completely. I have grown leaps and bounds because of you.

A breakup that I once thought was the end of the world turned into the biggest blessing. That breakup brought me back to you. That foundation we started a decade earlier, quickly resumed as we filled each other in on the time we spent apart.

The healing began. You let me lean on you through a very trying time. Because of you and your patience, the old me resurfaced again. The old me that went into hiding for almost a decade gained her confidence.

I will never forget the embrace you gave me when we finally parted ways the day we went out to lunch. That hug sent me on a journey back to my teen years in a matter of seconds. That hug reassured me that everything was going to be okay.

Jason you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. You have shown me unconditional love. A love that has opened my eyes. A love that continues to guide me as we ride this journey of life together.

One of the many reasons why I love this man, his attention to detail.

Sometimes he can sense how I’m feeling before it hits me by knowing and understanding how I react to situations, the shift in my mood, the looks I give without realizing, my demeanor and the tone in my voice.

Because Jason know’s me so well, I always feel safe when I’m with him.

He knows how to calm me down. He knows just what to say to make whatever I’m feeling in that moment disappear. The patience he showcases in those situations is why the calmness takes hold of me. I can feel the love radiating from him when I hear his calming words, or his touch.

Last night was just another example of how in-tuned Jason is to my world, my experiences, my overall well-being.

Jason and I went to an acoustic Nonpoint concert at Capone’s in Johnson City. It was an amazing show for so many reasons.

When we started dating again in 2009, Jason introduced me to Nonpoint for the first time. A month after we began dating we went to a concert in Cape Coral after I got free tickets. We still talk about that night. Most of the time all we have to say is that Nonpoint concert and we both start shaking our heads and laughing.

Although Jason took me to my first concert while we were in high school, that Nonpoint concert was the first concert I really felt. The sounds of the drums and guitars really grabbed a hold of me, as the lyrics spoke to me.

Last night’s show was amazing. Usually Nonpoint puts on a high energy concert, but last night it was low key as they transformed their music into an acoustic version. I heard every lyric as I watched fingers strum the guitar creating a sound that triggered my feet to begin moving and my hips swaying to the beat.

There truly is no better feeling then listening to music live. I love watching a band translate the songs meaning during a live show.

After the concert ended, the band made a presence near the front door of Capone’s. A line quickly formed as the band posed with one fan after another for a picture. Yep, Jason took my picture with the band, which was awesome. I had the opportunity to tell them that I loved their music and it is great motivation while I run!

It was a great night with Jason. Another night we will talk about for years to come. Another memory I will hold close to my heart.

I will forever be grateful that I was blessed with such a caring, loving, funny man who fully enjoys life.

A beautiful life

A beautiful life

My heart is singing. I have the love of a man who would move mountains to make me smile. A man who would do absolutely anything to make my life even more beautiful.

That feeling has consumed me since I returned home from my trip to Fort Myers. A trip that left us apart for almost a week, the longest time spent a part in more than five years.

They say it’s good to spend time apart . . .

I knew that week was going to be hard, but did not know to what extent. There were a couple of things I truly missed while we were apart. Jason kissing me goodbye in the morning before leaving while telling me to have a great day. Surprise visits during the day. Most of all, us not sleeping in the same bed at night, was by far the hardest thing. I sleep so much better knowing he is peacefully laying beside me, or even knowing he is in the same house.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved every second of my trip because I was surrounded by family and friends. It was a trip I needed to take, a trip that was long overdue. A trip that was filled with nonstop laughter as every single one of my siblings gathered together with their loved ones and children.

My parents watching a sunset on Fort Myers Beach. The love these two share is inspirational.

My parents watching a sunset on Fort Myers Beach. The love these two share is inspirational.

The Monday after Christmas, my family had its family Christmas. Mom had 19 people under one roof. All of her kids together for the first time in five years for Christmas. Sometimes it was so hard to hear someone talk because of the booming of laughter that filled a room. New memories were definitely made that day.

Towards the end of the day, we all gathered outside, so my Mom could have pictures with her family. This was specially hard on me. Mom and Dad stood waiting for each one of their children and significant others to surround them, as I snapped a shot. I, of course, took that picture without Jason that day. Although he was not standing beside me, I could still feel the love we share with the hundreds of miles that separated us. I could hear him saying, “I’m glad you are spending time with your family.”

Throughout the week, Jason and I would talk through text messages. Yes, I still received my good morning. Often times we had the opportunity to catch up at night before we both went to bed. I loved those moments because I had the chance to hear his voice.

Our week apart was definitely confirmation that I have truly found my soul mate. I found the love of my life.

Jason was a part of many conversations and in my thoughts as every day unfolded.

The night I met a great friend at the beach to watch a sunset, he was with me. Charlene and I watched the sunset in almost the exact spot that Jason and I have shared many times while enjoying dinner on the beach. I sent him a picture of the sunset. His reply, “Very nice. I can feel it.”

Fort Myers Beach sunset

Fort Myers Beach sunset

Those seven days a part showed me yet again that I have true love from a man who loves me to pieces. Although I know he missed me, he was always sending me messages sharing how happy he was that I was with family and friends.

My favorite text was sent the night before I returned home. He had a countdown going of when I was going to be “stuck” with him again. 12 hours and counting . . . that warmed my heart in ways I cannot explain. Jason missed having me home.

When I came around the bend at the airport and saw him standing there, a smile swept across my face in a speed I could not control. I was home. I was in the presence of my man once again. I could tell he was just as equally as excited to see me.

I feel a new kind of closeness to Jason. A new kind of appreciation for one another. The laughter I felt at my parents house, is the same kind of laughter that has filled our home the last couple of nights.

It’s an unexplainable feeling to have that kind of love. A feeling that is sometimes overwhelming. A love that has opened my eyes to all kinds of beautiful moments that were once clouded before.

Jason continues to show me how to appreciate every moment for what it is worth.

This man has helped in creating a beautiful life for the both of us. A beautiful life that continues to excite me as new days unfold.

I am beyond grateful I met this man 19 years ago. It was a true blessing to be reunited with him again more than five years ago. Jason has helped me become a better person. The support he shares often times leaves me speechless.

It’s truly a powerful thing . . . how much someone can impact your life. A positive impact on every aspect of my well-being.

This year has started off with a bang, as I continue to share my life with a man I know I will grow old with.

Fort Myers Beach sunset

Fort Myers Beach sunset

 

Came to my rescue

I have such a caring man by my side. I love him to pieces.

Yesterday Jason had the day off from his now two jobs, so I took the day off as well. He planned a hiking trip with one of the girls he works with at the Marriott in town and her son, as well as his cousin and two boys.

We all eventually arrived at the Devils Bath Tub in Virginia, with the hope that the weather would stay nice enough for all of us to enjoy a day out in nature.

After waiting for some time in the parking area at the trailhead of the Devils Bath Tub for his cousin, Jason decided to put a note in the window telling them we already hit the path.

It was overcast and the winds were changing, which told us the rain was on its way. We have been out on a few hikes where it started to rain, but decided to push on, which worked in our favor because the storm always passed us by.

We were on our way, with Lucy of course.

The trail looked much different yesterday, the water level in the creeks was much higher and the rock beds, which were dry last time, had water running through them. With overcast skies, the look of the trail and vegetation was much different as well. The darker hue was breathtaking.

Eventually the rain drops began and after some discussion we all decided to hike on . . . Our tune eventually changed as the leaves could no longer hold onto the weight of the rain water and the drops started falling at faster rates. We found some coverage, well a little bit of coverage, and stopped to see what would happen. At this point the rest of our group joined us on our wet hiking adventure.

As we were all gathered in the same spot, an intense lightning bolt struck, which sounded like it was extremely close by. Jason called it, our hike was over. He wanted to make sure everybody was safe, and after reading about someone being killed on Fort Myers Beach, near where we used to live, the day before from being struck by lightning, we knew better than to take any chances.

By this point, I had picked Lucy up and wrapped her in my shirt, which was gaining dampness by the minute. Thank goodness I packed another long sleeve Under Armour shirt that I could wear. This poor puppy of ours gets cold really fast.

With the decision finalized, everybody turned around and began walking as fast as they could, while being careful not to stumble on tree roots or rocks along the path. We were all extremely soaked, but everyone seemed to be in good spirits.

It was crazy to see how fast the path filled with water and how the intensity of the creeks changed as it filled with rain water.

Although I was not scared, I was glad Jason called the hike and we all decided to walk back to the car. Since we were all soaked, it got cold, especially when walking through the creeks, which was also cold, as we followed the trail out.

Jason was always close by as we crossed the creeks, which he confessed later almost ended up putting him in the water. I love how he makes sure I am always okay. I’m still a little hesitant on crossing some of the creeks, which by this point I shouldn’t be. My courage constantly grows though, which is good.

Even the little boy who came out with his mom, was keeping an eye on me. It was absolutely adorable, 10 years old, and he was looking out for me. He was right in front of me, loving every minute of being out in nature and walking in the rain. I spotted him turning around to make sure I was still coming. What a nice young man.

It wasn’t until almost the very end of the trail that led us to the final creek to cross where I took a spill, a really hard spill. As we turned a corner I walked close to the edge of the trail because there was a large pool of water. As soon as my foot hit the edge it slid in the mud and I fell pretty hard on my hip. Mind you, I still had Lucy in my arms. I have no idea how I did it, but I kept Lucy in my arms as I hit the ground, cushioning her blow.

I’m so proud of Lucy, she was such a sport. She didn’t budge at all as she sought out comfort in my arms.

Jason was ahead of me a few steps and before I knew it he was by my side leaning down grabbing my hand to pull me up. It all happened so fast. I was really covered in mud.

As I stood up, I placed my forehead on his shoulder as he asked if I was okay. He said he heard the impact of me hitting the ground on my hip, as well as the squeal I let out. His caring tone almost brought me to tears, so I picked my head up looked him in his eyes before he took Lucy’s leash and we started walking again. I was proud that I restrained from crying, even though the tears started filling my eyes.

I was in a lot of pain, but we were almost to the finish line, if you will, and the rain was still pouring down, so I had no other choice but to keep moving.

We made it to the car and then back to our place, where his cousin and boys joined us for lunch.

Although we couldn’t finish our hike, and I took a nasty fall, and Jason lost his glasses, it turned out to be a fantastic day. The day was full of a lot of laughter and after our company left to head back to Kentucky, the good times continued with Jason.

Today, well, I’m a little sore, so I decided to stay at home and not go for a run or head to the gym. I’m kind of surprised I haven’t found any bruises yet, but a little bummed about how achy I am. I guess it all comes with the adventures of loving the outdoors.

My everything

This morning as Jason gave me a hug goodbye before leaving for work, his love consumed me. I felt it in every bone of my body how much I mean to him.

Although we share the words “I love you,” it’s the tender moments that mean so much more.

Last night as we were eating dinner what Jason suggested blew me away. My older sister and her family, as well as my mom and dad, are driving to Illinois for my cousins wedding this weekend. He said maybe we can meet them along the way.

A moment like this says “I love you.”

This suggestion of course brought an instant smile and an overwhelming feeling of love.

It’s true this man will do anything for me.

This man would drive, I don’t know for how many hours, just so I can see my family and give them all hugs.  I, of course, turned down his suggestion, although it was incredibly sweet.

Jason is my everything.

A few weeks ago Jason sent me a text that has stuck with me. Yes, when I read those words I cried. Good tears of course.

“I love you and live for you.”

Wow. Words like this left me speechless.

Everyday I’m thankful my first true love is back in my life. Everyday I’m thankful I have experienced true, unconditional love. I will be forever grateful to this man for showing me so much, for making me feel so loved.

I have such a caring, dedicated man who makes sure I smile each and everyday. Even when my stubbornness takes over, he still goes above and beyond to break through the barrier to make me smile. 

I love this man so much!

Good ending

Yesterday was nuts.

Well, let’s rewind, it all started the night before around 11 p.m.

Jason and I were snuggled close on the couch when Leo appeared and laid with us. This is the first time he has laid with me since we brought our puppy home.

Well things changed drastically after this.

Out cat Leo, who we have had since 2010, started to get sick. This of course happens from time to time with hairballs, but never to this extent. He kept throwing up, to the point where it was just stomach vile.

With deep concern, we all finally went to sleep hoping for the best after the vomiting subsided. As we all got situated in bed, yes Jason and I are accompanied by our puppy Lucy and other cat Kimber, every night, I spotted Leo laying on the ground between the wall and our bed. I’ve never seen him lay here before.

I scratched a few of his favorite spots and then put a blanket next to him on the floor.

I soon fell asleep to the quite breathing of Jason next to me.

Lucy woke me up early yesterday morning, 5:45. This is unusual for her. So, we went outside, so she could go, came back in and she had breakfast.

After Jason left for work, Leo jumped in my lap and cuddled close. Ever since we got Lucy in April he hasn’t snuggled with me. I enjoyed every minute, well until Lucy wanted to take his spot.

As soon as he jumped down, Leo started getting sick again. This kept on going on and off until around 11:30 yesterday morning.

My concern deepened with my heart heavy. Leo was exhausted by this point. He finally settled down and fell asleep.

After talking to Jason, I made an appointment at Banfield,  the same place we take Lucy. Unfortunately we couldn’t get him in until 3:15 that afternoon. I was so worried, I could barely concentrate on my work.

Jason came home on his break and helped me take Leo to the vet. I love this man so much for coming all the way home. My emotions were frazzled by this point and I didn’t want to take Leo by myself, especially without a cat carrier.

So after waiting a while after we got there, the vet finally saw him. She said he looked really good and without some extensive testing she wouldn’t know for sure, but it might have just been a rather large hairball that he was struggling to get rid of.

With both of us fearing the worst,  this was good news. Jason drove Leo home as I paid the bill and made another appointment for him.

Words cannot describe how much that meant to me. Jason works a good 40-45 minutes away from home. When I told him thank you, his simple response was “that’s what I do.” I love this man so much.

After he left to go back to work, Leo started acting a little more like himself. He even ate some food. Since I knew there wasn’t anything major wrong with him, I finally left the house with Lucy in tow.

I had to get rid of the stress of the day and give some one-on-one time to Lucy. So we went to our favorite place the Kingsport Greenbelt. It felt so good to be outdoors for an evening run.

Shortly after we starting running, we came to a stop when I saw four deer crossing the path a little ways before us. How cool is that? I love spotting animals in nature. I of course tried to take a picture, but with a puppy that doesn’t sit still it came out rather blurry.

wpid-20140607_192209.jpg

We kept going, until Lucy spotted our favorite place. This is where we stopped and took a break.

After some exploring, we were on the path once again heading back to our starting point.

We ran 2.48 miles going from 1147 in elevation to 1236.

This run was exactly what I needed, what we needed. So, feeling satisfied, we drove back home to wait for Jason to come home from work.

Yesterday shined some light on our relationship once again. There’s not anything this man won’t do for me and all of our pets. How did I get so lucky?  I’m so glad our paths crossed again.

I’m happy to say Leo never got sick again after returning home from the vet. He’s been talking up a storm today.

Oh, our life is back to normal.

Now to get some writing done, so I can hopefully go to the gym this afternoon.