He's home and he's changing jobs. Recently I was asked, "when does your husband go back to sea?" The honest answer is of course, " I don't know" , but to many that answer is not suitable, not comprehensible. "You don't KNOW?!" they exclaim. I then must launch into my practiced dialogue about why I don't know and more specifically why I must not pretend to care too much about when my husband will leave home and return to sea. "He could be leaving as early as this weekend and heading to the Gulf of Mexico for two or four weeks. Or, he might be headed to the coast of Africa for anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months. He will not be home for Christmas, most likely, though that may change depending on his new job schedule, so I can't plan on it anyhow."
And to the question of "Do you have any plans this weekend?"' I must always smile and say casually, "Well none specifically, just a quiet family weekend." When what I really want to say is that ,no, how could I possibly make plans for this coming weekend, when it may turn out to be the only chance to celebrate Christmas with him this year. Likewise I must be sensitive that it might be his fathers LAST Christmas.
The invitation of "Dinner next week?" is often replied with a more polite version of the following ... "Oh how nice of you to ask I will get back to you within three to five days and we may or may not even be able to commit at that time, could we just play it by ear and maybe have you over for pizza but then cancel at the last minute because he's leaving tomorrow."
And yet though all of this I have never been happier, never felt luckier, and never been smiling so much for so long. Each minute, each hour we spend together is the most precious thing to us and we make it count. Each fight, ends with passionate apologies and promises to come to a compromise. Each laugh is drawn out, and an appreciation you can only find in a best friend is fulfilled. There are times, when I am unsure of my ability to accept this lifestyle, but THIS time, right NOW, I am HAPPY.