R TranI started dating my husband three months after my father died. It still makes me sad that they never got to meet. I was sixteen, my dad was just forty-six. I was a junior in high school and a mutual friend decided to play matchmaker. Cemohn told me he wanted to go to Junior Prom with me and told him the same was true of me. Both were outright lies. Up to this point, we were friends. I should have been suspicious, it wasn’t the first time she tried to set me up. We both believed her and the date was set.

    One date turned into a four-year relationship before we were married. After graduating from the University of Missouri Columbia with a BSBA I went work for a chain retailer in management. One day while unloading freight I realized I hated my job. I went home and told my husband I couldn’t it the rest of my life. He told me to quit and go back to school. There were hesitations or questions. He was still in school unsure what he wanted to do and offered to quit so I could go.

   After a lot of prayer and soul searching everything worked out; I went to pharmacy school and he went to school for nuclear medicine. Our only problem was our schools were in two different cities eight hours apart. I was going to Atlanta and he was staying in Saint Louis.  We were determined that four years apart would only make us stronger.  I saw two other marriages in similar situations to mine fail while I was in school. Yet we remained strong.

     My husband insisted I have the college experience I missed the first time through school. I rushed a fraternity, joined pharmacy organizations, assumed leadership roles and yes I did go to parties. I graduated with B average and my husband had never been so proud. I met some of my best friends in pharmacy school. We still try to get together a couple times a year even though we live in three different states.

    We had our first daughter three years later. My husband was instantly in love. While on maternity leave I helped write his Med school essays. He wasn’t going to be outdone by his wife. He stayed home with our daughter until school started in the fall. We were lucky we were staying in Saint Louis again. Our second daughter was born two years and nine days after the first. Not exactly intentional, but she was supposed to be a summer baby.

    The residency process was nerve-wracking. My husband went on several interviews for programs as far as Arizona. His top choices though would leave us separated again. We knew we would survive just as we had before but it’s never a fun prospect to consider. Once again we lucked out, we were staying together in Saint Louis.

    My husband is finishing his first year of residency in July. With his busy schedule, I have learned to be truly empathetic for single mothers. My relationship with my own mom who I couldn’t survive without has never been stronger. My girls are almost 4 and 6 now. My husband has two more years to go. We don’t know where we may be then. There is a small chance we could be apart some of the time. Somehow it doesn’t matter.  For us, it never mattered.

When I was in school people would ask how I did it. How did I live so far from my husband? It was always the same answer. We love each other and we love God. We placed our trust in Him before we ever married, why would it change now? We pray and we wait.