My wife went on a business trip to Italy on a Wednesday and came back three Thursdays later. I had left on one of my own the day before. We did not really see each other after Monday night. (O.K. I snuck in a kiss Tuesday morning before I left. That hardly counts.) We were apart for 16 days.
For the next seven days I went from Chicago to Kingsport to Orland to St. Louis with a 34 hour stop in Chicago and on to a day and one half in NY. She flew to Italy and over the next two weeks visited close to a dozen different cities.
We have been away from each other for a week, maybe 8 days at a time. I cannot remember a period in the 15 years we have been married that we have been apart for over two weeks.
Before she left it did not occur to me that I would miss her much. Yes, I love her and like to have her around. But even when we are in the same city we are often two ships passing in the night. I get up and leave the house early. We both work during the day. I come home late from work most nights but she comes home later many night. She has meetings for the various organizations she volunteers for or occasionally will have a tennis night or meet a friend for dinner. On those nights I am probably asleep before she walks in the door.
On top of that, much of the time she would be gone so would I. Even with the 7 hour time difference, we would find time to talk or email. Lastly, I would have one weekend as a “wild” bachelor weekend before she came back. That was something to look forward to. The two weeks would go fast. Or so I thought.
And yet… (pretend there is soft romantic music playing in the background).
I’ve grown accustomed to her face…no that has been used already. Yet actually that works best.
The first weekend, the one in the middle of my travels, I could have used a hug or three and a few kind words. When I returned Monday night and every night there after the house seemed empty. While she is a fabulous cook, I do not need someone to cook or clean for me. I was single for a long time and am quite self-sufficient. But I need a companion, someone to share with and someone to love. She just wasn’t there.
As it turns out we only spoke three times while she was gone. Not enough. I was happy to take a Thursday afternoon off to pick her up at the airport. It was great to have her back…sort of.
Mostly unfortunately for her, but also a little for me, she came back with a terrible cold and cough which she has not been able to shake for the over two weeks since her return. Hopefully for all she will recover soon and I can have my wife back…all the way.