We had to say goodbye the day after we finally became “official”. I knew it was silly to feel so sad about leaving someone I had only been officially “boyfriend-girlfriend” with for less than 24 hours, but I couldn’t help it. I would be going back to Central California with my family and he would be staying in San Diego to continue shooting weddings. To be honest, it would only be a few weeks of the 6 hour distance, and then I would be moving back down to Azusa Pacific University, where I was about to start the Fall semester of my sophomore year. But, regardless, I couldn’t help but throw a pity party for myself.
I don’t remember much about the conversation, but I do remember that he grabbed a fake, yellow gerber daisy from one of the vases in the house we were staying in (slightly reminiscent of the candy incident), handed it to me, and said, “Your favorite.” He was wrong (Shasta daisies are my favorite, and completely different, if you ask me), but oh so cute. I accepted it. We hugged. And then gave our first, long, goobye-for-longer-than-12-hours-kiss.
Remembering this completely over-dramatized interaction makes me cringe. When I think about how blessed we were to be only a 6 hour drive away from one another and how we would be seeing each other in just a few short weeks, I am embarrassed to even tell this story. I think of one of our past couples. Matt + Kelley who had to spend months at a time apart throughout their dating, engaged, and now married life so that he could serve our country. I can guarantee they have had goodbyes that Jacob and I cannot imagine. I think about both Madison + Mychal who also faithfully serve our country. I think about all of our sweet couples, friends and family that endure a pain of saying goodbye that we will never understand. And it makes me appreciate our little love stories even more when I think about the big love stories of our couples that we have been able to be a part of over these past few years. I guess I just want to say thank you for serving and teaching me what love looks like. We are grateful for all of you who serve our country.