Our last weekend together was thoroughly sucktastic. It was sunny and 80 degrees, but one by one everyone but me caught a stomach bug. It was puke, puke, and more puke. The kids got the light 24-hours or less version. Timmy got off lightest of all with a bout of throwing up and malaise that lasted maybe five hours total, and he was fine when he got up from his nap. Tim got hit hard. He spent Friday night throwing up every hour on the hour. He spent Saturday motionless on the couch with aches and a fever. We didn't have our usual date night in. Instead I decided to take the kids to Subway, and Tim came along because he was briefly feeling better. But then he sat there looking like death warmed over while I scarfed down my food as fast as I could so we could get back home. Sunday I took the kids to Mass alone and made crappy French toast for dinner. Sunday night he rejoined the land of the living and we both commiserated about a wasted weekend. At least we still had Monday to look forward to before he would leave that night. He went in to work for a little while Monday morning, got home and collapsed on the couch again, complaining that he just "couldn't shake the ache".
At this point I just wanted to start screaming. It was so unfair. I found myself using a short tone with the kids, frustrated with the huge messes they were creating in the kitchen and the constant requests for food, drink, help peeling the backing off of stickers, arguments and crying over every last little thing. I missed Tim, whose company I had gotten to enjoy only for a few hours the night before, and who would really, really be leaving in a matter of hours. He hardly uttered a word all morning besides, "Ugh, I'm tired." I felt so lonely already.
At around noon he partially got out of his funk, got his appetite back and had lunch, and moved to an upright position on the couch. By 4, he was working on one last delicious dinner of stuffed shells for us all to eat. A better wife would have insisted on making it herself, but he really wanted to do it. I cleaned up afterward.
It was so hard to see him go. My heart ached watching him say goodnight and goodbye to the kids. I had trouble falling asleep even though I was exhausted from waiting until midnight for his ride to come get him. Every time I found myself awake and alert I prayed, Please keep him well, keep him safe and bring him back home to us.
|Annie was saying, "Stay. Stay."|
I'll try to be as kind to these kids as I possibly can as we adjust to Tim's departure. I'll try to take a laid-back approach to getting through these first hard days. It will involve some messy crafts, movie nights, trips to the park, a little bit of fast food, and probably a lot more time spent with noses in electronic devices than ought be allowed. At some point soon, I will pull myself out of this funk and move on. I will get through this one day at a time like I did last time. The hardest day was yesterday, and it will get better.
Once again, weekends and holidays go back to being useless. When I saw that this coming weekend is a four-day holiday weekend, I thought, 'Isn't that dandy?' I have no idea what I'm going to do with all these kids for a four-day weekend.
It's supposed to be just seven months this time. We can do this.