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Another Three Weeks

A couple of hours ago, I drove my wife to the airport. She's returning to our home in Minnesota for a few weeks. Her next visit will likely be at the end of September and last only two or three days. This move has been a challenge, especially as we maintain two houses until the previous one sells.

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.


  1. As a retired member of the military, I think you nailed our experience with separation right on the head. It is something that both the military member and his or her family must get used to (though will never like it). Just hang in there, and before you know it, your wife will be back with you, your house will be sold, and you'll have no reason to be separated anymore.

  2. Brian - I thank you for your service. And I thank your family for enduring that challenge, too.


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