I don’t know how many more of these departures I can take. Every time he leaves, my resilience is tested, Stretch Armstrong-style.
I’m a pretty sturdy gal, absorbing some heavy blows over my lifetime. Sometimes they’re clustered, peppering me with punches to the gut so fast I lose my breath. Sometimes they’re bell-ringers, knocking me flat.
This is different. This persistent pressure forces my system–my heart, my nerves–to accommodate bigger loads, more prolonged separations, more solo requirements. It’s like a personal Survivor, but I can’t get eliminated, I just have to wake up every morning, kill a snake with my bare hands and cook it over a fire made from damp seaweed.
I have eleven (or so) months to go. There’s no set date yet for when we’re packing up the odds and ends and heading for the coast, but it will most likely be next September. In the meantime, in addition to the moving tasks and the job I need to find, I have to go through five or more of these wrenching separations. Those five ecstatic visits will be filled with Christmas and band concerts and anniversary parties and packing, but they’ll always end. Every one will end at the curb at the airport drop off zone, with me in tears.
I have to find a way to get better at this. The up and down, the elongation of already taut nerves threatens the calm I so doggedly defend. I have a calendar, but it’s not fully fleshed out yet. I don’t know what comes next. If I could prepare for it, or look forward to it, or mark time’s passage with a fistful of confetti, maybe I’d be more limber, less prone to injury from over stretching.
Tonight I go back to sleeping without him. Fitfully. Everything looks better in the morning, right?