Forty-six

Forty-six

Friday, April 24, I woke up beyond excited. My countdown was nearing the end. My countdown of when I could leave to pick up Jason.

As the morning progressed, my mood enhanced. The excitement was hard to control.

Friday marked the 47th day since Jason left. I was finally able to greet this man I love face-to-face at the Asheville airport.

On March 9, Jason left for Florida to start working on Sanibel at two jobs he was offered.

I remember that morning like it was yesterday. I remember the emotions that took hold, well to be honest, consumed me. That morning, March 9, was one of the hardest things I was ever faced with. You ask why?

Jason was leaving me in Kingsport, more than 800-miles north of his final destination.

My best friend, my boyfriend, my rock was leaving until we could make ends meet. Our goal was to work countless hours and get enough money together, so he could come back to get me and all of our animals and head back to Fort Myers.

The 46-days we spent a part had many high and low points.

It’s truly inspiring to see what you are capable of doing when faced with a situation like that. A situation where I was living by myself in a state where I had no family or good friends to lean on when needed.

I found such an incredible amount of independence deep down that I had no idea was there. I stayed true to my plan . . . I continued to live without the best part of my life right next to me. I found time to go running with Lucy, my puppy, reaching distances that made me proud. I even found a new passion of cooking healthy meals that were absolutely delicious.

The best, truly gratifying part, was the amount of work I was able to accomplish doing freelance writing for the three papers that hired me. I wrote enough articles and did enough editing to pay all of our bills for the entire month of April. All of our bills were paid by the second week of the month. That spoke volumes. It only reaffirmed that I could take care of myself, truly take care of myself while keeping a roof over my head and food on the table. That accomplishment set the ball rolling in the right direction. All of the hours Jason was working could completely go towards our move back to Fort Myers.

With that milestone met, I was able to book a plane ticket for Jason on April 7, Day 30 of us being a part.

Even with all the positive thoughts I tried to keep in check, I still had a few breakdowns, a few more than I hoped while Jason was away.

It’s crazy how many emotions you go through. I found myself crying at such random times, and also smiling when I least expected. The daily phone calls from my mom on her way home from work were comforting. My older brother also called often checking in on me.

My favorite part of the day was when Jason would call. I could not fall asleep until I heard his voice, to hear how he was doing, to hear he was okay.

I remember one breakdown as clear as day. It started one Friday night while Jason was away. I completely broke down. Lucy, our puppy, helped tremendously that night. She instantly became concerned as the tears violently fell. Lucy began licking the tears away before cuddling in my lap, helping me to gain composure again. I remember walking to bed, but was unable to sleep well at all. The next day my anxiety reached its highest point leaving me paralyzed.

That day was awful. I felt helpless. Everything I tried didn’t help.

Through it all, I felt an incredible amount of closeness to Jason as I lived my life in Kingsport, and he lived his in Fort Myers. Although we were living our separate lives, I felt we were still sharing our life together. We became closer. He remained my rock. He gave me tough love when I needed it to break through when I got the sinking feeling.

Jason shared how much he loved me and missed me on a daily basis. I felt how hard it was for him, as well, through our conversations. I knew, without a doubt, that he was doing everything in his power to come back to me sooner. Although he sounded exhausted on more than one occasion he woke the next day and worked another 15+ hour day, all so he could keep that promise he made before leaving.

So, back to Friday, April 24.

I arrived at the airport at 12:27 and he was supposed to land at 12:32. It was absolutely perfect timing. I had enough time to make a quick bathroom break and then stand where I could see Jason come into view.

It never fails. Six minutes turned into the longest 45-minutes of my life. Jason’s plane was delayed leaving Punta Gorda.

As soon as I saw him, I felt my entire body relax. I felt complete again. My true love was now in my presence. He was now standing in front of me. I was able to hug him, kiss him, see his smile instead of hearing the smile form over the phone.

I was giddy as all hell.

The relaxation that flowed through Jason’s body told me our decision to be a part was more than worth it. It was worth it because everything was coming together for us. Almost like it was meant to happen the way it did. Jason has been able to find work and continues to find more work. The stress we felt about making ends meet in Kingsport, I could sense was vanishing. He almost looked stress free. I didn’t even have to ask if we did the right thing.

The rest of the day was absolutely perfect. It was spent one-on-one, as well as with some of the friends we had made in Tennessee. I must have told Jason a hundred times how nice it was to have him back home. Well home, for the next 24+ hours until we headed south to Fort Myers.

Leo and Lucy at one of the many gas stations we had to stop at to fill up the truck.

Leo and Lucy at one of the many gas stations we had to stop at to fill up the truck.

After the truck was packed and we said our goodbyes to Frazier, we slowed down and fell asleep for a while before we hit the road at 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Those early morning hours finally ended as we arrived in Fort Myers around 8 p.m.

It was an incredibly long drive, especially when traveling with three animals.

Our poor Leo had a difficult six or seven hours before he finally calmed down and found some comfort with our puppy Lucy. Kimber was frightened and let us know she wanted out of the truck hours ago.

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Leo

 

Kimber

Kimber

 

Lucy

Lucy

 

Leo finally relaxed as Lucy layed on him.

Leo finally relaxed as Lucy layed on him.

Even through the constant desire to be out of a moving vehicle, Jason and I had some amazing conversations, especially as we neared 17 hours on the road.

Our connection only intensified. Our connection only strengthened, as we had those deep conversations of our present circumstances, our future plans and goals.

A cloud came into view that resembled a heart as we neared Fort Myers.

A cloud came into view that resembled a heart as we neared Fort Myers.

Time a part definitely makes the heart grow fonder. I feel so much closer to a man I had already felt a deep connection with.

Now we are in the limbo stages staying with my parents until our new place is ready this weekend. I’m looking forward to making us a new home once again. I’m looking forward to getting us to the point where we can both relax with all of our belongings and animals all under one roof again.

Another chapter has been closed. Another chapter is already well on its way. Our lives are intertwined again in the same state, under the same roof.

We are living in Southwest Florida once again surrounded by family and friends.

Two years ago tomorrow, we traveled to Kingsport to start a new life. We arrived at our new home on May 1. Who would have thought we would be back in Fort Myers so soon?

Our new home

Yesterday began early, as we started loading our cars full of boxes, clothes and little things that filled our first apartment in Kingsport.

There is something about moving that always adds stress. I don’t know if it’s the packing, which I dread doing, or the unpacking, which can be time consuming.

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Although our cats, Leo and Kimber, become a little tense during the trasition, they always make the most of the boxes we bring home. It’s a new adventure for them … What boxes can they fit into? What boxes won’t fall when they climb to the top? They are such curious animals, always seeking out the newest place revealed.

Or what cabinets they can finally climb into once we clean them out …

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Jason always assures me that everything will fall into place, that there is no need to stress out. We have moved enough together that those intense emotions should not come into play.

Although we started off kind of slow, once the afternoon came around, our new townhouse was becoming full with all of our things.

We eventually got to the point where we only had large furniture/items left, so we carried the cats to my car, ready to introduce them to our new place. The catcher was, Jason had to stay behind, so he could meet up with his buddy who was bringing his truck to help us with the rest. So I carried Leo and Jason carried Kimber to my car. Now that was an adventure.

Leo climbed to the back and sat between the seats and Kimber sat on the front seat. Kimber cried the entire time, a very loud, scared cry, and well Leo took on hissing if she became a little to close for his liking. Thank goodness it was a short drive just down the road.

When we arrived, I went and unlocked the front door, so I wouldn’t have to fuss with a key and lock holding one of them. Since Kimber was a nervous wreak, she was the first to be introduced to her new home. As quickly as I opened the door and let her inside I was back out the door to retrieve Leo. Leo, my little buddy, was waiting patiently on the back seat.

After the adventure we had traveling from Florida to Tennessee, I can’t tell you how proud I am of him. He was so mellow, exactly what we both needed.

Our lovely Kimber was very talkative yesterday, nonstop meowing. She’s definitely our nervous kitty.

As soon as they were both in our new home, the exploring began.

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And new places were found …

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They both instantly fell in love with the space above our cabinets in the kitchen.

They eventually found the stairs to the second floor, which was so sweet to see. I of course had my phone in hand videotaping their adventure.

As I unpacked the boxes we were able to load in our cars, Jason and his friend did all the hard work. Jason is so good to me, he makes moving day extremely easy for me, always has. So why I stress, I have no idea!

We put the living room together, a small comfy space with all of our furniture. The kitchen, well, let’s say it’s getting there.

As the day turned into night, the events of the day caught up to us. So we enjoyed a simple, easy dinner and watched the baseball game.

We climbed the stairs and crawled into bed … we still had more to do today, more moving, unpacking and sorting.

This morning we woke early and I instantly began working on the second bedroom, my office. It felt good to put all my books on the bookshelves, organizing the space for when my desk and chair arrive today.

Today we hope to finish everything and get situated before another crazy work week begins. We still have to finish all the rooms and my favorite part, hang the many pictures I have accumulated.

A little more bare

The pictures are no longer hanging on the walls and the big television does not obstruct the view anymore …

These are just a few differences I experienced as I walked through the door tonight. Our apartment is finally changing, as bigger items are finally being packed away.

I enjoy coming home to see what Jason accomplished before going to work, an incentive to continue the progress of packing even more.

We have about five more days to pack everything in boxes that are either being shipped in the U-haul pod or in one of our cars. 

Although I absolutely hate packing and tend to procrastinate as much as possible, it’s nice to go through everything and throw away what isn’t needed. Definitely a good way to clean.

Less than 30 days away

The countdown for our move has officially entered less than 30 days, a number both frightening and exciting.

Today text messages were sent back and forth with my youngest sister as we tried to set a date where we can all go out before Jason and I leave.

As we began planning around our targeted day, “Friday,” it struck me that in a blink of an eye we will be leaving the state of Florida. Friday became the go to day because it is Jason’s only day off, which left us with only three dates to choose from before departure, due to a few prior commitments.

I know things will fall into place and a day will be set for our trio date out . . . because there is always time for family.

Our conversation put into perspective just how close that departure day is becoming. With that hope of being able to see all of our friends who have touched us in one way or another before we leave, I began contemplating whether or not Jason and I should set a date where we can all get together for one last good time.

Between both of our schedules I know it is hard to make things happen, to set dates, to see people, especially when their schedules are just as hectic.

Again, I know those friends who are truly near and dear will find time to see us, just as we will find time to see them.

With all of that said, I am still really excited to make this move with Jason.

Yesterday I read a quote that stuck with me “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” Why doubt, when the power of believing is so much more powerful? I believe in us . . . I believe in Jason . . . and I believe in me. We are packing up our belongings and moving to a new area neither one of us have experienced in the hopes that we can plant our roots and enjoy our new home to its fullest.

These next four weeks are going to be jammed pack with things to do, which unfortunately includes packing, and people to see before our move.