He is gone a lot. I knew this when we got together ten years ago. I knew what I was getting into. Does it make it easier to bear the celebratory milestones alone? No. Hell no. It's tough to be a boat wife; but, as the old adage states, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." And our extended periods apart does make the reunion more cherished and special.
"How do you do it?" I am often asked. Honestly, there are good days and bad. Like when I can make a batch of cookies and have them all to myself...for dinner-- that's pretty awesome. Or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, like when I have to celebrate a birthday without him-- that's not so awesome.
Yes, this year Brad and I celebrated our fifth year wedding anniversary in person-- for the first time in our five year marriage. We also celebrated his birthday together, too. But, alas, the streak had to end somewhere- my birthday. My darling husband is in Ketchikan, where his boat is in dry dock through the middle of September. Yay. So the idea of breakfast in bed, followed by fishing, followed by hike, followed by dinner out, etc, etc, is not going to happen on June 16, 2010.
So, here I sit, in a new town, without any "real" friends around to party into my third century on this planet. Despite that, I piped up at my Tuesday Rotary meeting and put a "happy buck" into the scholarship jar and announced my impending birthday. In a group of 30, two other Rotarians followed suit and put a buck in the jar for their birthday-- on the same date. How great is it that in a town of 2500, and in a club of 30 people, three of us have the same birthday?
Alas, this boat wife has invitations for both lunch and dinner tomorrow. It may not be with my beloved; but, at least I get to celebrate. I look forward to celebrating with him, belatedly as it may be, when I see him in a few weeks.