Thursday, February 13, 2014

Another Small Piece of a Love Story

When I blogged last summer about the last day I had with Honey Bear before he left on his mission, several readers mentioned that they wanted to hear the rest of the story. It's a LONG story, one that I could easily turn into a novel or two, but in honor of Valentine's Day, here's another tiny piece.

As I mentioned in the comments of that post, Honey Bear and I had virtually no direct contact for the two years he was gone. We did write letters back and forth (actual, handwritten letters, since they didn't let missionaries e-mail back then), but we didn't set eyes on each other or even talk on the phone. (Full disclosure: We did see each other once when he came home for hernia surgery, but that's another post.) I was down at BYU for the second half of his mission, but the summer he came home, I was back up at my parents' house, which is just a few miles from his.

He'd told me which day he'd be flying home, so I knew when to start worrying about when he was going to call. (If you haven't already guessed, I'm a champion worrier.) I didn't expect a call that day, since I knew his family would be anxious to catch up, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping for a call the day after that day. But then that day came and went, as did the day after that. I told myself it was nothing, but a part of me didn't believe it.

That summer was a dry one, and I distinctly remember that the mountain was on fire. At night, it looked like lava was dripping down the mountain like frosting on a cake. One night, Mom and I decided to take a drive up Highway 89 to get a better look. Now, Honey Bear's house was just a few miles up this highway, but I tried not to think about that.

Mom and I oohed and aahed at the fire, but really, I think we were both keeping an eye out for the turnoff to Honey Bear's house. When we reached Crestwood, Mom deliberately slowed down. She looked at me, I looked at her, and by unspoken agreement, we made the turn. His house was tucked back in the corner of his neighborhood, so we had to make several more turns--first onto Manchester, then onto Oxford--to make it to his house. When we finally reached Sherwood (whoever designed this neighborhood clearly had a thing for English place names), Mom eased around the corner, both hands gripping the steering wheel.

His house was at the far end of the street, in the sac part of the cul-de-sac. We only made it a few houses before I grabbed the armrest. "No, I changed my mind. I don't want to, I don't want to!"

We must have been on the same wavelength, because Mom whipped around and sped away before I even finished saying it.

The next day, I called him.


Julia K said...

Love this!! I didn't meet my husband till after the mish but this story makes me both sad and relieved that I missed out on those wonderful two years :)

Myrna Foster said...

Heheheh! I love that both of you decided to turn around.

I went to the airport with Sam's family when he came home. We mailed cassette tapes to each other every now and then (while he was in New Zealand), and I remember thinking how weird my voice sounded. And I remember how longing would lodge in my chest like pneumonia when I listened to those stupid tapes.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Julia, before he left, we talked about how we probably would have gotten married right out of high school if not for the mission, so we wondered why we'd met so young if there was this possibility that we were going to end up getting married. Then I remembered something people had said during the Ty Detmer era whenever BYU got a penalty: "Oh, it'll just give us more total yardage." We decided it would be the same for us:)

What a wistful detail, Myrna. Honey Bear and I mailed cassette tapes to each other every now and then, too, but I don't remember them having such an impact (though they did sometimes make me cry).

Karen Clayton said...

Ah love! My hubby and I never experienced anything like this, but I can imagine what it must feel like.

Karen Clayton said...

Ah love! My hubby and I never experienced anything like this, but I can imagine what it must feel like.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Thanks for stopping by, Karen! It's always good to hear from you.