Black reading glasses on the laundry table, an almost empty coffee cup on the counter, the last sip of your coffee, all left behind. Only an hour has passed and I have only just awoken, but the weight of your absence hangs heavy on my shoulders.
Perhaps you made a whole big pot of coffee and left half for me! My hopes are quickly dashed, I look at the counter to see it is still covered with last night’s dishes, all of which block access to the coffee pot. No hot coffee, but I will use the latest mug you got me from your last trip.
When I get to work, I will see your truck parked in the far row, tucked under the big pine trees. The sun will not yet have made it to that row of trucks and cars leaving them shaded. But yours will look even darker and more sad, knowing you are not inside, not working at your computer, not answering ‘just one more email’.
It falls upon me to tend the animals, stoke the fire, wake the girls and get the whole day going here at home. I could use your help bringing in more wood for the fire. It would be nice to have your help of you making breakfast while I make lunches. But instead, I must rouse the little dragons, find their matching socks and scrape my own windshield. And this will all happen without our silly banter or the quick sparkle of your eyes laughing at my hectic morning antics.
After twelve years of these monthly, or sometimes weekly, trips I should be used to your absence, the quiet time, the solo parenting, the extra house chores. And I am, sort of. I will enjoy some quiet tonight, after the kids are snuggled into bed I might even watch MY favorite TV show. And I will muddle through all the sports team practices on different ends of town, with some extra miles on my car. But right now I just feel a deep absence. Right now I miss your smile, your mutterings, your presence.
And so begins a Thursday.