Jack Rooney '16 | February 14, 2019
As a child of the Midwest, I am a firm believer that in order to appreciate something fully, you must also experience it in its worst form.
In other words, you can’t truly savor a gorgeous summer day without first suffering through the sort of bone-chilling weather we had a few weeks ago. In the same way, though perhaps a bit more morbid, grief is only ever born of deep and genuine love.
I take the same approach to my long-distance relationship.
Caroline and I started dating in late September of 2015, our senior year at Notre Dame. We graduated eight months later and have not lived in the same place since. In fact, we haven’t even been close. Since graduation, Caroline has lived in Portland, where she studied for her masters in the art of teaching, and Seattle, where she is in her third year as an English Language Arts teacher at a Catholic middle school. In that same time, I’ve lived in south Florida for a few months, Ireland for a year, back home in Chicago for about six months, and now in Wooster, Ohio, where I’ve begun my career as a journalist at a local newspaper.
So, in more than three years together, we have lived in the same place for all of eight months. But that time together, though relatively brief, was glorious. We formed the foundation of our relationship while sharing the last of our senior year with each other, making countless warm memories that have helped sustain our relationship during our time apart.
And though it may not have seemed so at the time, I can see now that the end of senior year was blissfully carefree. Caroline and I had our own responsibilities, of course, and our uncertain future loomed, but we were together and we were in love, so none of that mattered. It was like summer.
The other two and half years, while we’ve been dating long-distance, have been the winter of our relationship.
Read more here.