Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Best. Trip. Ever. Part Four. Or, The Last Day....

I don’t know how many of you know this, but I am sleep-challenged, and have been, off and on, for years. Since I have a special-needs daughter, I try to stay away from the word “retarded,” but saying I am sleep-special-needs sounds stupid, so let’s just say, I don’t sleep well. I have trouble falling asleep, and I have trouble staying asleep once I get there. I really need remedial sleep training. If I can sleep more than four hours at a stretch, I am happy. Every once in awhile, I will actually sleep seven hours or so, and I’m downright ecstatic. Don’t get me wrong – I am not one of those people who are all perky on only four or five hours of sleep a night. I really need a full eight. Every night. I just can’t figure out how to get it.

But for some unknown reason, when I was sleeping next to Kirk...I slept juuuuuuust fine. There is probably some scientific explanation involving endorphins and oxytocin and neurotransmitters and stuff, but I think it has something to do with the peace that comes when you can be yourself with the one you love, and you know you are loved in return. That, and physical exercise. ;)

Anyway, I’d been sleeping uncharacteristically well, until the last night, in Kirk’s sister’s guest house. The bed was great, and couldn’t have been more comfortable. The temperature was fine, and I was definitely plenty tired. Everything was absolutely conducive to a very good night’s sleep. But at 3:00 AM, I was wide awake, and immediately stricken with an almost unbearable sadness with the knowledge that I’d be leaving today. Kirk had been able to get the day before off, but would have to work for a little bit this morning, so I knew I couldn’t wake him up. Well, I could, but it wouldn’t be very nice if I did. So I just laid there, feeling the tears begin to well, and my nose start to burn the way it does when you know the crying is about to commence. I kept trying to talk myself out of it. “Don’t cry ‘cause you’re leaving,” I told myself. “Be happy because you were able to come in the first place!”

I just wanted so badly to drink him in, to stash away memories that I would be able to pull out and savor later, when Kirk would be far away. I was getting mad at myself for being so pathetically sappy, so I went into the bathroom, turned on the light, and sat on the floor and tried to read for a bit to distract myself, not entirely successfully. After a bit, I gave up and went back to bed, but kept looking at the clock, still just so restless. Finally, I leaned up on one elbow, and just...watched. Watched him sleep. Because I could.

It's the best way to wake up - just to be in the arms of the one you love, and feel that absolute safety and warmth and security and contentedness and acceptance and...love. It still makes me bawl just thinking about it. I can't tell if they're tears of happiness for even ever having been able to experience it at all, even if only for a little bit, or tears of sadness for not having it now and missing him, or a little bit of both..... Even now, more than a week later, that pain feels so fresh that I have to swallow the lump in my throat that comes with the memory of it.

It almost feels like I love him too much for my heart and soul to be able to contain, and whenever I try to quantify or explain or whatever, it wells up and starts leaking out my eyes in the form of tears. How weird is that?!?! I hope I will kind of get accustomed to feeling so much someday, so that I don't cry every time I think about how much I love him.... Just believe it when I say I have never loved like this before, and never knew it was even possible. So I think I was just feeling a little overwhelmed that morning, too.

I woke him up by tickling his back, and with his voice still groggy with sleep, he said, "What are you doing?"

"Watching you," I said.


"Because I can..." was all I choked out, before the torrent of tears just came. He held me while I sobbed, but eventually I got it back together. We talked and, I think, both cried a little bit - I told him I knew that I needed to be happy we’d been able to have the time together in the first place instead of sad it was coming to an end, and he said that we needed to remember that if it wasn't as good as it is between us, it wouldn't hurt so much to part, so it was just proof of how good it is, how right we are together, etc. And I really appreciated his spin on things. He is so good about giving me the words I need to hear!

Anyway, he went to work, and I finally went back to sleep. I got up about four hours later and took my time in the shower and getting ready, etc. And then when he got back, we ate some chips and salsa and yogurt (a surprisingly tasty combination!) at his sister's before leaving, and then just bummed around for a little bit. We went to a local brew pub so I could get a "Kiltlifter Ale" T-shirt – absolutely perrrrfect for me!!

Then we just drove and talked and kind of took our time on our way to the airport. I was doing a pretty good job holding it all together, I thought. I didn't want his last memory of me to be of red-rimmed, mascara-ringed eyes and a red, runny nose, so I was chewing on the insides of my lip something fierce to keep it all under control. We were joking that throughout the whole entire trip, I did not take one single picture!! I was too busy making memories to think to take any pictures of them – I guess that girl gene must have skipped me somehow, because I am lousy at taking pictures and always have been. So we were talking about trying to stop and ask a Skycap or even some stranger to take one of us for us, just so we'd have one, but the closer we got to the airport, the more tenuous the control on our emotions was getting.

By the time we got to the curb at the airport (turns out there’s a reason those are called the “kiss and cry” lanes!!), and he stopped and got my bags out, I was really having a hard time. I felt like if anyone so much as said “Boo!” to me, I would lose it. So we didn’t even try for a picture. We stood there and kissed good-bye and exchanged our "I love you's," and I just kept telling myself "Don't cry. Don't cry. Don't CRY!! DON'TCRYDON'TCRYDON'TCRY!!!!" And I could tell Kirk had a little tic in his jaw and his voice was a little wavery, too. So I went into the airport and he left, and I didn't look back (bad luck to look back....).

As I was walking through the airport up to security, my eyes were leaking and every time I'd wipe a tear, a new one would magically spring up to take it's place. I kept dabbing at the corners of my eyes with a tissue that, by this time, was pretty much a soggy, wadded-up, mascara’ed mess – definitely the worse for wear. I got to the security gate, and the TSA guy looked at my ID, looked at my boarding pass, scribbled something, and waived me on, but I could tell he was thinking, "What's the deal with her?"

I was still dabbing at my eyes as I put my bags on the conveyor belt and my shoes, sweater, and belt in the tub to go through the x-ray machine, and I was still chewing, chewing, chewing on my lip trying to keep from disintegrating into a full-on bawl. Just then, the X-ray guy stops the conveyor belt, backs it up, and calls, "Bag check on Lane 1!" and a TSA guy comes over and gets my bag and says to me, "Ma'am, is this your bag?" And I. Just. Lost it.

"Yeeeeesssssss!" I wail.

He looks at me, panick-stricken. "It's OK, Ma'am. There's no problem - your number just came up, that's all. We're just going to have a quick look and we'll get you on your way!"

I'm all, "I - I - I kn-n-noooow. I'm s-s-s-orry!!"

He unpacked my bag and put everything in a tub, so he could run it and the bag back through the x-ray machine separately. Meanwhile, I'm standing there, bawling my head off in great big, heaving sobs. There is another lady, about 10 to 15 years older than me, on the other end of the table where the TSA guy had unpacked everything, and she is going through the same ordeal. "It's OK," she says to me. "This happens to me all the time. It's no big deal!"

She is being so nice - I don't know what to say. I know it's not the TSA people's fault, I know it's not my fault, but I hardly want to tell them all the real reason I am bawling in the middle of the Phoenix airport!!

My poor little tissue is as good as useless now, and I try to reach into my bag for another one, but the TSA guy holds up his rubber-gloved hand to stop me and says, "Uh, Ma'am, please don't try to reach into your bags until I'm finished with my search."

I'm still blubbering, and I apologize again. "I - I - I'm s-s-s-sorry-y-y-y!!!!" I wail.

By this time, there is the one TSA guy helping the nice lady on the other end of the table, the one TSA guy on the x-ray machine, the one TSA guy helping me on my end of the table, and then about six TSA people standing around my guy with their arms folded, watching me. I can tell they think I am a certifiable lunatic.

My TSA guy gets everything done, and brings it all back over from the x-ray machine, of course giving me the all-clear. "Would you like to put your bag back together, Ma'am, or would you like me to do it?" he asks, oh-so-politely. And I'm hiccupping now, I've been crying so hard this whole time, but I said I'd do it...so I put my bag back together, face red and blotchy, nose running, mascara completely gone....stomach aching....it was awful.

Crying in the airport = embarrassing. Crying so hard when the TSA guy pulls your bag that they apparently think you're going to go off the deep end on them so they call in reinforcements = embarrassing x2!!

But then, just as I was boarding the airplane, I got a text from Kirk. "You are my world. I absolutely love you. Let the next countdown begin!" And he sent me a picture of his hand that just said, "Mine misses yours already." So how stinkin' sweet is that? How stinkin' sweet is he?

And by the time I landed in SLC, I had a message waiting for me from him that said, “This says it all...I love you!!! ‘Missing someone gets easier every day because even though it’s one day further from the last time you saw each other, it’s one day closer to the next time you will.’” Honestly, could he be any better?

Suffice it to say that it was a grrrrrrrreat trip. He is every bit as wonderful as I remembered. We are as absolutely right together as I thought.

So, I guess I probably either need to figure out how to move my ass to Phoenix, or get his moved up here. And I need to figure out how to get my girls to be OK with having him in their lives. He's gonna be in their lives one way or another, but I'd rather them like him and be OK with it, than not. But it's the weirdest thing - I just feel so strongly somehow that Kirk and I were meant to be together, and that things will ultimately work out, that I just have a certain sense of...oh, I don't know, peace and "rightness," almost...that everything will fall into place when and where it is meant to do so. I just have to try to make myself be patient and wait for it to unfold, instead of push to make it happen on my own timeframe, as I am wont to do. Damn this Type A personality tendency of mine - it can be very difficult to manage, at times!!

But that's all down the road a piece. For now, it really was the Best. Trip. Ever.

As always, comments, advice, etc., welcome and appreciated... :)


Four Little Chihuahuas said...

I am torn with with wanting to giggle and cry all at the same time! How do you write like that?! :) I truly hope that you two are permanently together soon... and, I can't wait to meet him myself! He sounds like quite the guy! I'm going to feel like I already know him.

As you were describing your experience at the airport, I kept thinking of my airport memories. Since my parents were divorced and my mom lived in California, Wendy and I spent A LOT of time in airports. Most of it was before all of the crazy security, back in the day when you could walk right up to the gate to say your goodbyes or hellos. I can remember so many times that I sat, struggling with my own emotions, watching other people say their goodbyes and hellos. You could always tell the people that were parting from one another and the people that were just seeing eachother after being separated. I always felt soooo sad to see people leaving eachother, embracing eachother as the seconds passed, tears running down their faces. I also remember how much I loved to watch the people reuniting. I can remember one fella that was anxiously waiting with a bouqet of roses in his hands. His lady got there and gave him a big hug and I thought "I want that to be me someday!" It was sooo romantic. Anyway, my point to this veeeerrry long comment is that I'm sure they see that all the time. Lots of emotions at an airport! I am a little surprised that he even had more people come out for back up. I guess they're a little skiddish now. It kind of made me chuckle!

Hope you see him again soon!

Curious About Living said...

Sigh...I completely know how you are feeling. You could have been writing about me and Chip... When he left on Monday morning I cried like a baby and later he told me that he fell apart as well. I cannot wait to see him again. Being in each others arms was like finding the home you didn't even know you'd been missing. Keep up the amazing journaling. One day you will laugh as you reexamine the emotional roller coaster that was your beginning... You are amazing!

How Time Flies... said...

As always, great story! Kirk sounds fantastic... I mean really, who says those sweet things? You deserve every wonderful second of him! Kirk is a lucky guy;)