Rudy texted me. Excited about my six-day visit with him in Arkansas.
"Woo! Let's make the most of our time together. I love you!" I returned.
Rudy has moved to Arkansas.
I stayed behind, with our three kids, in California.
He moved out of necessity. For a job. Almost a year ago.
Rudy had been out of work for, at least, three years.
Like many people, he was laid off and struggled with finding employment.
While embracing his full-time dad role, he also returned to school, honing his culinary skills, hoping to make a career change. Work in a professional kitchen. To make an income. Both to help pay the bills and to put him back on the map.
Ironically, school was not enough experience to be hired by anyone. They wanted the experience he didn't have. At least five years in a not your home kitchen.
Frustrated, we decided, as a couple, that his best option would be to begin sending resumes outside of California.
See what happened.
Rather than applying for culinary positions, we knew it would be more productive for him to return to the dyeing industry. Specifically, color matching. The field of work he spent 22 plus years in before his layoff.
Within two months, Rudy was offered a position in Arkansas.
Though nervous about the separation, we knew our decision to go forth was, and is, the right one. We, the whole family, has adapted to our new normal. Not always easy, but with constant communication we are strong.
We are distant physically, not emotionally.
We are completely committed to making our relationship thrive, to ensure we will be holding hands all along this journey. Our three children hang on to our coat-tails, knowing they can depend on us.
"I just landed," I sent my last text, to Rudy, for the week.
"I am here," he responded.