I don't mind being somewhat alone, and I definitely prefer to be alone in my office on campus when I'm working, but being without my wife is different. She's my guide and my companion. I don't like Minneapolis, but if she's there, that's where my thoughts are.
As I returned home from the airport, a storm rolled into the area with rain, lightning, and wind. It was dark and gloomy — pretty much how I felt on the way home.
Today was a day we remember both first responders and those called to serve in the months and years after September 11, 2001. I can't imagine being in the military and serving for months, even a year or more, away from my family. The families must also feel something like I do without my wife nearby: something is missing, a part of me. A year apart would be miserable.
Typing this, our newest family member, Misty Kitty, is sitting nearby. She lifts her head from time to time and checks to see that I'm nearby. She still hates it when she doesn't know where her people are. I'm glad she loves being with us, and I'm especially glad that she likes to be near me. Tonight, she'll get lots of hugs, as will the other furry kids.
My wife is working to help me get back on schedule. The kids will help me relax, which is scheduled several times throughout the day when I'm home. The schedule is on a little legal pad, sitting on my desk. A legal pad can't take her place while she's away, but it will be a reminder of how much she cares.