Life is in session. My wife has to make an emergency trip overseas and will be gone for an eternity—well, three whole weeks—and I feel all those teenage abandonment issues coming up. I have to stay home because the dog-child is still healing and needs to be looked after, so at least I’ll have someone to keep me company.

Even though I had planned for this event, it was supposed to be somewhere in the future. Happening at the spur of the moment has made it more of a challenge. But we have rallied to make sure that that I have some frozen dinners on hand, and there’s enough dog food to last for several months.

With no family of my own, and not even my mother-in-law (she is going along) to have dinner with, I am designing the next few weeks around camping out at home. There will be boat rides, walks, and football. I have no desire to live like a bachelor again, but you have to fill the gaps where you can, and the gridiron has that effect, at least until the game is over.

When the one you love is away, life is just harder. So many couples and families have to deal with this issue regularly, especially those in the military. Being on your own is also tough when you have kids, because you have to deal with everything, but having your children’s (or your animals’) love can also make a world of difference. Some people are fortunate enough to have good and sometimes even great community support.

Still, when it’s time for bed, and you are under the covers alone, your heart can sink a little. This is only natural, and it’s actually good that you miss the one to whom you’ve given your heart. A few tears are also okay, but if you find yourself crying throughout the day, please get checked out.

They say that taking separate vacations can be good for couples, and I understand the premise: time alone can be good for the soul, no one wants to do everything their partner does, and you get to miss each other. But that idea doesn’t work for me. If memories are to be created, I would rather that we build them together. We spend enough of our waking hours in separate rooms or locations, so this separation isn’t something I look forward to.

In truth, I began having separation anxiety when I made the airline reservations, and that’s just who I am: a man who wants to be with his wife and who is concerned when she is on the other side of the world without me. I know she is a very capable woman, and she will be staying with family, so I’m sure she will be safe, but that doesn’t mean I won’t worry a little or miss her a lot.

We will Facetime every day whenever we can. I know she will want to talk to the dog, so I’m not too concerned about staying connected. I’m just going to miss her telling me what to do all the time and her very, very soft kisses.

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