To My Love While You Are Gone

Ten days seems like a short time when I think about everything I want to prepare for your return. It seems like a long time when I lie down at night.

I’m doing alright. It’s possible you’re missing me more than I’m actively missing you. But then, I miss you all the time. When you’re working, when you’re too tired or distracted to really be here. So I hope you come home refreshed. In the meantime, I must keep myself busy, because this is different than the usual separations.

The wind is screaming through, the sun is hot, the tomato jungle in the living room is driving me crazy. I’ve been tilling and planting a bit. I have constant errands and child-events to deal with. I feel like I’m spinning my wheels and constantly behind. Nothing is broken so far.

I can’t help thinking several times a day of what it would be like if you didn’t make it home. It’s a shadow I have to keep pushing aside, and focus on the wait and the work instead. But it’s made me realize that the life I would be living without you is the life I shaped around you and your dreams. It’s your gift to me.

You established me as a person, and I wouldn’t be myself if not for your influence on my entire adult life. You’re the cross-current that pulls me down branching streams I never thought to explore. You’re the sun that’s thawed me and the storm that’s watered. You’re unruly, happy-go-lucky, exhausting chaos. I tend to trigger people, but you’re the business end of the double-barreled gun that is us. The relative quiet I have for these few days is only peaceful because it’s temporary.

I wish I’d done more to make things ready for when you come back again, but I’ve hit my limits. I’m in pain, I’m tired, I’m alone with the child chatter. I hope it will be enough. I hope we’ll do even more together, after. I want to make this life for you, and this home.

Not just the one you wanted; what we chose together. That’s a beautiful and conflicted mystery – we’ve battled through the decisions, and this is ours. Sixteen years is more than time passing, more than lists of things done and things to do. More than half my life with you.

And so much more than a romance or a set of responsibilities. Compatibility is a minor detail next to choosing companionship and fellowship and fidelity. Comfortable compatibility, I think, would not have the same spark as this dance. Look what it builds. Look how it blooms.

I will see you again soon.