Message on a Balloon
A shiny, red Mylar balloon flashed its way into our morning walk one weekend. Star-shaped, it bobbed just above the weeds. Someone had sharpie-penned, “Even though I am little knowing you I already hold you close in my heart.” Forget the bad grammar. Was the would-be sweetheart snuggling up to a new love right this moment? Had the intended released the balloon in disdain? Had we walked into a hello or a good-bye?
Yes. Farewelling is sharp in my mind these days. Every Friday evening I happily greet my husband and every Sunday afternoon I bid him goodbye. Again. We are two months into his six month contract. This is not easy.
I am trying to learn some lessons about making it through the dreaded Stages of Departure:
- Lunch is over. He leaves after lunch.
- There is his bag by the door.
- Here is some food to take with you.
- Is it time to go already? Really?
- Truck doors slam shut, the big engine growls, in a few seconds the red truck will be out of sight.
- Time to pivot—and plant something.
It’s late spring/early summer here. Prime planting time. Front yards all around sprout color and texture. A Sunday afternoon is a great time to dig in the dirt—a little treat to look forward to. It’s also a good time to call a friend or visit my parents who live just a short walk away. Knowing I will do some or all of these things directs focus beyond the immediate pain of separation. It eases the transition. Usually within a couple hours of departure, I have adjusted into “life on my own” mode, which while not preferred, is ok.
A wise friend once told me how people survive traumatic incidents. Like they get covered up in an avalanche and no-one knows they’re missing until they show up bewildered on a park bench three weeks later. She said they figure out a pattern that moves them in the right direction—and they repeat that pattern—whether it is a miniscule movement or a thought—again and again—until finally, miraculously, they survive.
I said a prayer for the Mylar Balloon Couple and held my beloved’s hand as we strode home through the morning—steeling for another parting.
Image by banksy. Thanks to https://kattsblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/banksy/
Next: Leaving the Mother Land
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