Every once in awhile you read a story about a couple that has spent little or no time apart during their married years. I remember one in particular that slept in the same bed, no matter what, for something like 40 years. I’m not sure that’s even remotely possible in today’s busy world, but I guess it would be pretty cool to get to the end of the line and be able to say you did it.
Last night, Mike left for several days at the Indy 500 with his dad and uncle. They have insider tickets to the most exclusive events, a gift from beyond from his wonderful Grandfather who passed away last August – his sixty year long Firestone career resulted in this incredible gift for the family. I’m excited for him to have a break and travel with his dad who he just loves spending time with. Whenever they’re together, they end up working on house projects instead of just having fun, so this will be great for both of them.
It’s funny though, all day yesterday, I was a little uneasy or off, and not sure why. I am definitely not used to him being gone; there’s no travel in his work life and he doesn’t usually go places with “the guys” or anything. Thinking about it now, I guess my uneasiness was just me adjusting to the idea that he’d be gone. I can’t imagine how my good friend, Tiffany, has felt over the last year while her husband has been deployed to Iraq. This is nothing, a trip for fun – just plain old living life and because of its rarity; it’s leaving me feeling funny. My friend is one strong woman for facing all those months alone with four young kids and the great unknown of the desert looming. By the grace of God, her husband is back home again and safe. I couldn’t be more thrilled for them.
While preparing for our family to arrive and Mike to leave (my mother-in-law will stay with us while the guys go), it never even dawned on me that this little trip might be effecting the kids. When it was time for him to go, it became clear. The second Mike walked out the door, Logan was in tears and nearly inconsolable for several minutes. Riley soon picked up on it all and her eyes bubbled with tears as well; both of them left confused about Daddy on his way – away. They’ve experienced us head out for a night or two once or twice, but never really just one of us for more than one night. And Logan is older now, probably just starting to get an understanding that other factors and unpleasant possibilities exist in her world – just yesterday she asked me what cancer was. Those are some big thoughts swimming around in a little mind. I can only imagine what was causing her such distress as he left and was so glad when she felt better.
Once again, my mind brought me back to my friend’s family and how her children, with their dad so far way, felt as they matured during his absence and learned more and more about the world around us. How brave they were to make it through this like they did; remaining calm, holding it all together and knowing in their hearts that their Daddy would return. What a remarkable family they are.
I have no aspirations to be the couple that never spends a night apart; past work travel, little trips here and there and the thought of sleeping on the fold out bed at the hospital by the time Finn came around did us in anyway. We’re out of the running. But I’m grateful for the fact that we’ve been blessed with most of our time together, good days and bad. I hope Mike has a great burned-rubber filled weekend; he works hard and deserves it for sure. And it feels good to miss him; maybe we all need a little of that now and then. His fan club can’t wait for him to come home!