The Commuter Marriage Continues
Once again my husband, Dave, is heading back to his “other life” in Arizona. He was home for seventeen days. Now I feel as though I am in suspended animation without him. His next scheduled return is in August, three and a half months hence and promises to be our longest separation yet since we began this “commuter” portion of our marriage.
When we made the decision for Dave to go to AZ to work it was devastating. I saw a story on our local news about “commuter marriages” just days before his departure and heard a wife say that over time it becomes easier. I didn’t believe it. I did not want it to be so because I did not want this drastic change in our lives to become “normal.” It has become easier and it is not normal, only tolerable. It is a sensitive tooth that flares into full-blown pain from time to time, but mostly sits there aching.
The seventeen days of Dave being home were a whirlwind with us spending the first portion at our house on the Long Beach Peninsula getting things crossed off Dave’s honey-do list down there and then returning to Gig Harbor to work on that honey-do list. As he heads back there are still things undone, but everywhere I see his hand in making our lives better. You know, I don’t mind the fir needles and cones on the driveway, but I find a clean driveway comforting because it means Dave is around.
Dave leaves knowing that he may be returning at any point due to the advanced age and health of his parents and my mother. That is something we talked about nearly a year ago when we began this adventure. It is why my taking my Special Needs daughter and going to Arizona with him was never part of the discussion. I am an only child and so my mother has no one else to rely on. Dave has six brothers, five of whom live near to their parents—relatively speaking. While he was home his mother’s health declined. On our last visit Sunday she seemed to have improved a tiny amount. I am grateful that he can leave, holding onto this tiniest thread of hope that she will be better still when he returns in August. I hang onto that thread as well as I do not want him to be alone at the time of such a loss.
Dave's intention is to quit working the end of September. That is not cast in concrete. We were unable to meet with our financial advisor while Dave was home, but after a phone conversation with him we have some homework to do and an appointment in August when we can map out what is next in this adventure. Stay tuned.