Urinalysis, check. Ten minute physical with the flight surgeon (cost:$110), check. Form I-90 completed, check. Dave has jumped through all of the hoops Lockheed Martin required to come to work in Prescott, AZ, 1,400 miles, making us a part of the 3.5 million Americans living a “commuter marriage.” It is hardly comforting and a sad commentary on the state of the economy and the housing crisis.
After two and a half years, since Lockheed closed Seattle Flight Service, Dave will have to be “retrained.” He wonders if there have been improvements to their computer program they began using after they took over from the FAA. He wonders how many people he will know there (at least two from his Bakersfield days in the 1980s) and how he will like the winters. I wonder how we shall do without him. I am aware that there are many, many spouses of military personnel who have to live without their partners and at least the desert Dave is going to is not in Afghanistan, but I think I am entitled to feel sorry for myself.
Dave has serviced all of our elderly vehicles (don’t ask the cost), made arrangements to stay with a friend until he can get his own place, and packed. Like a dog going to the vet, he says he wants to take something that smells like me. Can he smell my heart?
Last night we had our farewell dinner with the children who live nearby and one of his brothers. Yesterday he went to see his nearly-90-year-old mother and his 92 year old father. This afternoon we had lunch with my daughter Amy. A 21.75 year chapter in our marriage as we both recreate our lives together, but apart, is closing not knowing when or where we will meet again. I am sure we will be glad when this particular chapter of our lives is over, but wonder at what will be written on the intervening pages.