"Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
This idiom has been one that Brandon and I would say a lot when we were long distance--which was all of our dating and engaged relationship. It was supposed to be comforting in the face of "suffering" the distance between us, a reminder that maybe the distance was actually enhancing our relationship. How true is this phrase, though? Could being away from one another actually increase our love/relationship?
Today I was wondering where this phrase is derived from. After a quick google search, turns out it was included as the first line of a poem by an anonymous writer back in 1602, and then borrowed by and popularized by a poem written in 1844 by Thomas Haynes Bayly entitled "Isle of Beauty." It's crazy how this one line, first written over 200 years ago, has had a lasting impact on our culture. Have you ever heard any other part of either poem included along with that stanza? I know I sure haven't. I wonder if there is a part of a song or line from a book written today that will be popular 200 years from now!
The reason this phrase is on my heart today is because the hubs is at home, about 3 1/2 hours away, while I'm at my parents house with Silas for the week. Now, it's not as though I'm sitting around pouting about the fact that we're apart--it's actually been really enjoyable to spend so much time with my sisters and parents and I'm so glad that I have the flexibility in my life to take advantage of the opportunity to be here this week! It's just that this 4-day hiatus from one another has me noticing how much I really do enjoy his presence in my daily life. When suddenly a normal part of your life is missing you have a chance to reflect on it, and I'm realizing that maybe I take for granted our relationship on a daily basis. It's so easy to do that when you have something/someone available to you every day, isn't it?
I'm noticing how much I look forward to him waking me up in the morning for breakfast and prayer. I realize how much I anticipate when he'll be home from work for the evening. I love how good his is with Silas, who instantly stops what he's doing to look at Brandon when he walks in the room. I have missed our pillow talk, one of my favorite parts of our evening routine. And although we've been chatting on the phone, it's just not the same as holding hands while sleepily having a few last words before sleep comes over me. (and it's usually me who falls asleep in the middle of a conversation...)
So does being from him really make my heart grow fonder? Well, maybe not--I think it just reminds me how fond my heart already is. And that small reminder and the opportunity to reflect on my fondness of him while we're apart may actually help to deepen our relationship. How? Gratitude has a way of increasing my desire to make sacrifices for his sake and enhancing interactions when we're reunited. So I'll take this week and enjoy being here with my family, because next week it will be them I'm away from!