Veteran’s Day. Another late night flight back to Fort Lauderdale. The young Hasidic mother next to me on the plane smiled at the wilting bouquet I was cradling carefully on my lap. “I can’t believe you’re traveling with flowers. The hassle…I’m not sure I’d bother.”
I smiled back. “They were a surprise from my husband when we went out to dinner the other night. I just left him behind in New York, and couldn’t bear to leave the flowers, too. I’m holding on to every piece of him that I can.”
A tinge of sadness came over her face, and she fell silent. It was an awkward moment that I fully expected, and allowed. It occurs regularly when strangers and family and friends contemplate a couple being separated by 1,000 miles for more than three years.
What she didn’t understand–what no one seems to understand, really–is the way the distance has distilled our relationship down to only the most critical parts, clearing away the superfluous clutter so that only the truest expression of love remains.
Finally I have the words to explain this.
Flying with flowers is the perfect embodiment of the bond in our long-distance marriage, an element of the purest form of its beauty, a tangible expression of how much every word and every gesture we share is filled with significance. The space between us has created a fragility making each exchange more precious. From the very beginning, we learned how to be fully present in the moments we share and never take the gift of companionship for granted. Our hours together have always been numbered. And we live our lives differently because of that.
To pity the inconvenience of our constant travel and the inevitable bouts of loneliness we experience is to miss the miracle of the love that has thrived, not despite but because of our circumstances. We have learned the true meaning of the word CHERISH. And now that our season of being apart is finally coming to an end, we can be certain that we know how to hold on. Every moment we are flying with flowers.
Founder and Writer
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