I've always loved this picture of my father. I might need some of those nifty glasses.
When I was a girl my father traveled a great deal for work. I don't recall how frequently, but I think he was gone more than he was home. This put my mother in, shall we say, a MOOD. I don't know which she disliked most, his leaving her to be an independent wife and mother or when he came home and messed with her system. I have to admit that things did seem to go all to hell while he was gone, like the time Daddy's paycheck didn't get deposited to the correct bank account and all the checks Mom wrote bounced. Or the time a water pipe broke sending a flood of water up, through ceiling tiles and down into the glass aquarium housing my 4 gerbils. (you can't make this stuff up) At the time I had Mono and she made me rise from my sick bed and "deal" with my rodents. By the time I got there they were all on their little hind legs, noses up, treading water. I got them out, cleaned out their cage, dried them off, and returned them to their fresh home before passing out on the floor. (fyi - blow drying a wet gerbil is not recommended.) Towards the end of his career he traveled often to Brazil, sometimes for a month or more. This pissed Mother off to no end. I think she felt like he was living the sweet life while she....well, she was not.
So now my life is, to a small degree, mirroring my mother's. Tom's job has changed a bit causing him to do a fair amount of traveling. Mostly in the US, but it has been suggested that he get his passport renewed, so he may be looking forward to some international trips. Yesterday he came home from a four day conference in Orlando onto which he piggybacked a long weekend with his folks in Houston. This was the longest he's been away and it kind of sucked. To be clear, for the most part I am ok with the alone. Being the world's most dedicated introvert comes in handy now and again. I don't mind doing the little jobs that generally fall to Tom. I can even admit to enjoying a day or two of not having to listen to his constant work telephone calls. What I miss is just him. I miss waking up in the night and reaching out to find his sleeping form. I miss the sharing of the small things, like a good thunderstorm or how it snowed cottonwood yesterday. I miss hearing his footsteps in the hall and his voice as he talks to the animals in the kitchen. It isn't the big things, but rather a hundred small empty places in me that he fills up. It's that while he's gone, a little bit of me is gone as well.
My parents did not share the same loving connection that Tom and I do, nor did they have the arsenal of communication tools available to us now. And, having witnessed how poorly my parents handled the separation, I am even more committed to doing my part to keep our situation positive. Still, when he's gone there is no getting around the sad.
BUT, he comes home and this time he came home with this: (wait for it....it's awesome)
That's right kids, NOT A TOY, but....
...my very own wand. And not just any wand, but a replica of Nymphadora Tonk's wand, who married my favorite character Remus Lupin (because chocolate makes everything better). It's so pretty. I am happy.
Today the installer is here to put in the kitchen flooring. Before and after pictures later this week. Right now everything is in total chaos and I am hiding in my room. I'm about to pass out from the excitement. Better eat some chocolate!