I surround myself with stories because I long for my own. I know this seems dramatic, and I know that people have it worse than I do, but I rarely see my husband. Sometimes I wonder what is worse; knowing they will be gone for an extended period of time with the date to when you will see them again, or never knowing when they will come and when they will go. Even when we are together, often times we are apart. I’m watching the kids play while he’s out back mowing. We are visiting my parents but he’s entertaining my Dad while I’m entertaining my Mom. We visit friends but really depending on whose friends it is, he’s watching the kids so I can enjoy my time or I’m watching so he can enjoy his. I know he has to go because he has to support us, but it doesn’t make it any easier. It doesn’t make it hurt any less.
My husband pays the ultimate price for my emotional turmoil. The times we do spend together, I’m so worn out mentally that all I can do is let out anger because I don’t want to cry from exhaustion and feel weak. I hate feeling weak. I have a natural reaction of lashing out to protect myself and my feelings, because it’s so easy to be angry to mask how sad I am. He does an amazing job at loving me even when I’m being unlovable. He does an amazing job of staying when my words are screaming at him to go. So backwards, right?
I started getting back into books when I found myself longing for something more. I needed ways to connect with my emotions other than the anger boiling inside me. It’s hard being alone with the kids day in and day out. A mother’s job is never done. Most days I operate with the assumption that I will wake up without him and I will put the kids to bed and go to sleep without him. I may catch rare glimpses of him if I wake up as he’s shuffling out of bed for work, or maybe he’s off early and comes home to kiss me before he leaves to go to his coaching job at his Alma Mater. My husband can only do so much; it pains him to leave and watch me stay. I miss him every moment that he’s gone. Our life of comings and goings reminds me so much of The Time Traveler’s Wife by Aubrey Niffenegger. I wonder if she wrote this book for future me.
I read this story a long time ago in college and it broke me apart. I fell in love with the star-crossed lovers trope but never actually knew the gravity of the story and what it would mean for my life when I reflected back. The prologue is depressing, mainly because I can see myself in Clare and I can see Chuck in Henry.
Clare says, “It’s hard being left behind. It’s hard to be the one who stays. Why has he gone where I cannot follow?”
Henry says, “I hate to be where she is not, when she is not. And yet, I am always going, and she cannot follow.”
After I read the book I heard a movie was coming out – the movie is just as good and just as heartbreaking. If you’re looking for a book that tip toes the line between fantasy and reality, that is so cathartic and will make you hold tight to the ones you have, this story is for you. I’m thankful something this emotionally taxing exists. It validates my feelings of Chuck’s comings and goings. It makes me feel like someone somewhere felt this loneliness in a world full of people. When I’m feeling sad, I enjoy reading sad books. I like connecting with those raw emotions. Not everyone is this way, some people don’t like to read about trauma when they are going through it – but I do and I am thankful for this books existence.
You may know me from my silly cooking stories, my kids being wild, my house full of cats, and my dogs who can’t catch treats worth a shit, I am very quiet. The photos I take reflect the feelings I have; I shift with the seasons. The darker outside it gets, the darker my photos get, the darker my mood gets. Some days I feel myself slipping away. I am eternally thankful for the Bookstagram community and the love and kindness they have shown me. Time and time again you all pull me from the depths and make me laugh, send me funny messages, engage in my content, and it just makes me feel *seen*. I hope that I give as much as I get, I hope that whoever you are reading this knows that I will be there for you, too. Just send me a message. You are not alone.
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