the long goodbye.

Gabe wrote this at 4am, before we left for the airport. He'll loathe that I'm
sharing his "boyish" handwriting...but I adore it.

I'm the worst at goodbyes. My heart feels goodbyes deeply, but my mouth cannot properly express them. Rather than forming heartfelt sentiments, words like, "Keep on truckin'" come out of my mouth. Yep. Keep. On. Truckin.

Gabriel is much better at goodbyes. His goodbyes begin days in advance, as he grows quiet and squeezes my hand a little tighter. He says his goodbyes in extra "I love yous", weaves them into countless tight, wordless hugs for days. His goodbyes are said by stocking my house with flowers. By overnighting this book, which was sold out everywhere in town. Just something to look forward to on this crummy day, he said.

This will be our longest goodbye...six months. It began at 5am today and will end just days before Christmas. We always think it will get easier, each goodbye. Like someday we'll be old pros at not being face to face, at not kissing each other goodnight or giggling over how often I curse like a sailor. But it doesn't get easier. With every visit there's a little bit more love built, memories shared and learning to feel our rekindled love from across an ocean will never get easier.

But, if anything, it's a small blessing. The loneliness I feel when he is gone reminds me of how very, very much is bundled up in him. And how supremely lucky I am to call him my future husband.


  1. Goodbyes are the worst, my boy and i prefer the "See ya later" which doesnt stop me from blubbering like a baby any less. Mr. Gabriel sounds like such a sweetheart expediting that book. i think i literally said "AW" out loud when i read that.
    so happy for you two and time will fly
    :) Bobbi

  2. Oh, sweetie. My eyes were absolutely tearing up reading this. You are so strong, separation is never fun or easy. I will be sending all kinds of good vibes your way for the next sixth months. Hang on tight lady, all of us here in blogland have your back! (And I'm sure you've got a rockin' support system outside of blogland as well).

  3. Oh Bethany, I remember it so well. Alan and I had to say good-bye more times that I can count. It was awful each and every time and I would weep for days on end leading up to it. But those days are long behind me now! And one day soon they will be for you and Gabe too.

    Thinking of you and sending hugs across the blogosphere!

  4. Bethany you guys will be great. I can't imagine not seeing one another for months at a time but I know you can do it. It will be hard but when he comes back home to you, you both will be so happy. Plus you know how to send some serious packages! That man is LUCKY.

    Sending you lots of love!!

  5. Goodbyes are hard - I'm sending wishes of strength your way.

  6. whoa whoa whoa.. you curse? You seem so prim and proper, I feared I would offend you with cursing.

    Oh honey. Your are gonna fit right in with Shannon and I in Philly.

    Anyway, back to the topic on hand. I feel for you. JEGS is super amazing at making me smile when I feel down in the dumps; he'll surprise me with flowers or my favorite Oreos with the berry flavored cream. I, on the other hand, SUCK at expressing any kind of emotion. I just draw a complete blank.

    Tell you what, next time I have a good idea on what to say in a situation, I'll let you know, if you'll do the same. Deal?



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