Home for 22 hours out of 26 days


I know that soldiers go to war and are gone for months or years.  Spouses take business trips and are gone for days or weeks.  Some flee countries or persecution while the other has to stay behind for a time….sometimes a horribly long time.  So really I don’t have a stunning story to tell.  Deaths are not timely and planned events still must go on.  Yet living in a third world can make 26 days feel like many more, and 22 hours can be bitter/sweet way to short. 

I did pull out the camera for 22 hours and captured our moments together.  As raw and as beautiful as it was.  What would you do for 22 hours out of 26 days?  Our goal was to make the best of it!  Rewind a bit earlier in the week, a full 24 hours earlier…..when I thought my husband would be home and my phone rings.  Darron’s voice is taunt and tired, frustrated and hurt.  He missed his last flight from Bali to Sentani.  The next flight would not arrive home until the following morning.  Tearfully, I leaned against the gym wall and wept.  Bitter tears of disappointment, hurt, and tiredness.  Several friends noticed and gave me meaningful hugs and words of encouragement.  I was in no shape to work out (I never am…..just trying to get in shape….LOL), so the little boys and I headed home.  Earlier in the morning, Jacob’s teacher had quoted me a verse.  Neither of us knew how much I would cling to that verse all the rest of the day.  Casting my disappointment and my quivery heart on it.  “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)


So for the next 24 hours I gave my dismay to the Lord and reclaimed my dismay and then gave it up again in a vicious cycle.  Asking the Lord to bless our 22 hours together and for me not to harbor bitterness or poutiness in my wifey heart.  After all, Darron was going to be home on Thanksgiving Day.  What an extra special day for him to be home.

9 a.m.  Thanksgiving Day.  Aubrey and Andrew go to school.  We head to the airport.  The homeschoolers are not going to do school.  Whoo hooo!!!!  One of the privileges of home schooling.  We get home and Darron and I spend hours just talking.  Long distant telephone calls don’t quite cut it.  I pick the older boys up at 3 from school.  Meanwhile Darron and the younger boys get a hair cut and Darron lines things up with his staff for the next week (work had to be done). 

The guys talk about boat building, business idea’s, life.  Daddy roughs and tumbles with the young boys.  Listen’s to piano pieces. Listen’s to reading fluency.    The goodies we order from America are handed out.  Most of it is food and will be appreciated later. 


It rained all day.  The blessing: it was cooler.  The difficulty:  how to get Darron’s clothes dry in a few hours so he could pack again?  Darron put 4 fans on all the clothes hanging on the indoor rack. 


We share a lovely meal together, that I had prepared the day before.  Who want’s to waste their time in the kitchen when there is only 22 hours?  I feel guilty for not inviting others to join us….and then chide myself that we deserve these hours alone.  Our meal was complete with a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie (the pecan’s a gift from our returned expatriate doctor).


At 6 Darron said his head was spinning from jet lag and exhaustion and he was ready to crash.  I told him if he could stay awake until 8 I would give him a massage on our massage table.  He said, “What am I going to do to stay awake?”  I said, “I bet if you wash some dishes you won’t go to sleep!”  He washed, we talked more.


About 7ish we head over to Jan’s to throw slightly damp clothes in the drier for 10 minutes. 


Then Darron packs while I get younger boys ready for bed.  Oh and we discover a wound on our male Golden Retriever.  So we hop on line to figure out how to make a neck guard so that he can’t turn and lick his wound.  Then we did the peanut butter test to see if he could turn his head and get to the wound…by putting peanut butter on his feet.  Later Mrs. Golden comes and licks the peanut butter off his feet for him.


By 8 Darron is on the massage table.  At 8:25 I ask him a question and there is no response.  He is gone…….  that’s what the international date line will do to you!

7:15 the following morning, we have dropped Darron at the airport.  He will return in 9 more days.  It was so sweet and yet it is bitter to open up the heart to love and feel and then to have to say goodbye again.  But I am thankful for having so much and being so blessed.  My network and support system here is unbelievable.  I know that I am not alone.  When I hurt….the community around me hurts too.  The other expatriate wives here give their empathy. 

I am also so thankful for the faithfulness of my husband and his integrity.  He is hurting just as much or if not more at our prolonged separation right now.  He also did not go wandering onto the beaches in Bali or answer the bidding of the women offering him massages in Bali…..because he wanted to be above reproach.  As Uncle Buz wrote on Facebook….”He is a rock”.  Yes, he is.  My wifey heart knows that I married a rock.  May the hours that you are together with your spouse/ and or family/ friends be treasured.  May you enjoy the extra peanut butter that they can’t reach! : )  Until next time…. please pray on!

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2 thoughts on “Home for 22 hours out of 26 days

  1. Still SO LOVE your writing, Ruth!

    Thank you for sharing your gift. Tammy


  2. Every minute counts.
    God’s blessings to you all.


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