This is the real story of our summer of adventures:
Yesterday, Jason left. I spent the rest of the day cleaning the house, moving out, and finding remnants of the sun soaked, dirt covered summer days. As I finished, I took one last moment in the summer home to sit in front of the fire place and take it all in.
I looked out the picture window at the snowman we had built the day before. He began to drip in the warm sun. I just stared and without warning, my body began to shake and tears poured down my face. Yet, I was smiling. I have never experienced this before.
Everything has fallen into place. These are the things we don’t talk about much. Earlier in the summer, Jason was laid off. His big client decided to take their work in house thus leaving no work for the agency. Due to unfortunate circumstances, this was the second time in our relationship that this had happened. Quickly, my mind went frantic, concluding all of the worst case scenarios. “I can’t do this. This isn’t the life I signed up for. What is HE going to do?!” Damnit. We are in Montana with one car and no plan.
It is so easy to find yourself in situations such as this and give up. Or in my case, shut down and try to figure everything out in my own flustered mind, without talking. As the summer days passed full of fish, long hikes in indescribable country, visits from friends, road trips, camping, summits, and crisp air, overtime, I realized, this was the plan all along. Because of this, I got to spend every waking moment, experiencing this place, feeling and summer with Jason. Instead of spending his days tucked into our home behind a computer, we played. We scraped by as we both picked up freelance gigs here and there and, it worked.
While none of this misfortune was his fault, I put it in his hands. One day we were hiking and as we approached a tall summit, it struck me. He is doing everything I asked of him. (Which is a lot) He came to my home town, left everything he knew and never once has said, “No.” To every adventure, family dinner, dance lesson, craft project, drive or crazy idea, he has been just as excited if not more, than Lucy, our dog. He has shown up with his whole soul ready to love me and the life we are living.
As I sat on the fireplace and cried joyful tears, the memories of this summer rolled like a slideshow in my head: hard earned summits, Lucy discovering creeks, perfect and unforgettable visits from friends, the stars, backpacking, breathtaking views, National Parks, bike rides and fireside conversations. While, there were moments this summer that I doubted success, I sat on the fireplace in awe of God, His plan and His execution. Jason left to go to Nashville for an far more fruitful job than the last. I am allowed the time to go spend a month with my mom in Texas to help her as she goes through surgery and Nashville, that is our next adventure.
Of course, you can never know how any one experience will turn out. Going into this summer, I knew to expect the surroundings, the majesty of a Montana summer but the rest was all a delightful surprise. The moments of disbelief caused Jason and I to have hard conversations and learn an extraordinary amount about each other. The freed up time allowed us to take every minute of this summer at its fullest and the timing of Nashville is perfection. I am grateful for the time apart as we can appreciate the beauty of the last four months without quickly moving into the next routine. This was a summer that changed us. It changed me and it changed him and made for a better us. This is what happy, grateful tears are made of.