Absence Makes the Heart Fonder

Absence Makes the Heart Fonder

Several months after our third child was born, I found myself struggling to pull out of a “post-birth slump.” My daily routine was blurring into a continuum of chores and deadlines that I felt weren’t leading me anywhere, not to mention a newborn in constant demand of my care. My mind felt constantly tired, and my heart was heavy. I couldn’t identify what was making me feel down.

In contrast, my husband had struck a motivated phase. He was up early studying and working, always looking for ways to fill up the moments in his day as best he could. Because I didn’t share the same motivation in my own life, I found myself growing somewhat distant toward him. I suppose, in a way, I was jealous about the stride he had hit, and I was angry with myself for not bouncing back from this slump as quickly as I would have liked.

I finally mustered the courage to express to my husband the emotional decline I was experiencing, resolving that at least it would help him to understand why I didn’t seem to have life by the horns. He listened patiently and simply stated that though he’d been wondering, he had wanted to allow me time to come to grips with whatever it was that I was facing. While I didn’t experience an immediate rebound, I felt relieved to have expressed what I was going through, if for nothing else than because I’d been able to put into words what it was that I was facing.

Later that week, a business trip took my husband out of town for several days. It was the first time he’d been away from home since our third child was born. I was amazed by the rebound of spirit that I experienced in those few days, and how true the saying “absence makes the heart fonder” seemed to ring for me. Rather than the growing distance I’d been feeling between us, I felt a renewed love and admiration for him. It was as though I clearly saw exactly where he fit into my world—as husband, father to our children, and friend.

I hope I can carry my appreciation for the blessing of my life—my husband, my children, the love and happiness that brightens my world—throughout my days, even on those days when things seem gray and dismal. Remembering and appreciating the love that fills my world adds buoyancy to my spirit. It reminds me of how blessed I truly am.

Chandra Rees

Chandra Rees is a freelance children’s author and mother of five.

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