I looked over my shoulder only once, just in time to see the wheels of his luggage roll away into the terminal, and then I turned my eyes to the road, wiped the tears from my cheeks, and merged back into traffic.
That was two weeks ago when he boarded a plane to Africa (He’s on a mission to change the world, I tell people) and said goodbye. And (Poof!) just like that, he’ll been gone for two months. Away from me, and away from our life.
Leading up to this moment, I braced myself for the vacancy his absence would create. Imagining each day by myself, home alone, single father to our two dogs, taking care of business. Playing house in an empty home.
It’s been quiet some time since I stood alone in the world. No one to hold my hand, no one to keep the bed warm. An adjustment, and mighty change, for me.
The first days were filled with crashing waves of emotions. In with the tide, out with the tide. In, out, up, down, I floundered in the riptide because sometimes nothing can prepare you for the feeling of feelings.
Caught in the undertow, unable to break the surface, struggling to catch my breath, I wondered, who I was without that half: the half that usually keeps me afloat.
Stranded without my emotional life saver, yet determined not to sink, I decided this trial would not be marked by self wallowing tribulations. So using my own strength, I pulled the tears from the tide and dialed my emotions down low. Choosing to learn from the sounds of solitude, rather than to be overwhelmed by the useless noise of my own mental chatter.
As this lone man, I glance over my shoulder for a reaction only to see no one. I talk out loud even with no one around to listen. Each moment bringing an understanding of being able to do all things alone. And a new found respect for solitary living.
Some days I catch the wave and ride it to shore with no fear of the currents below. Today is one of those days, even though yesterday I couldn’t find my footing and struggled to break the surface.
Every day I get back up and try again.