May 9, 2011

And So It Begins

This weekend thundered through with a precarious harmony of cheer and dread. As much as I'd like to say we had a perfect few days, especially since they were some of Dan's last at home, I have to be honest: they were hard. And depressing. And strained. There were moments in which we were able to shove thoughts of the unpleasant near future into the farthest corners of our mind, but as hard as we pushed, we could never quite get them completely into the shadows. We both tried hard to smile and enjoy ourselves despite what we know is coming, but it was tough. In the end, though, what really matters is that he was home: time together always beats time apart.
We did manage to have a little bit of fun: we went out for a fantastic dinner Friday night with our friend C, who ended up spending the night on our couch and went to breakfast with us the next morning at our favorite little hole in the wall. Saturday evening Dan's brother and his girlfriend came over for dinner (I made our favorite pasta and the most amazing pumpkin cannoli) and a movie night. The four of us always have such a great time together, and it's sad to realize that not only is Dan leaving, but his brother is also headed off to college soon. I'm really glad that his girlfriend will still be here in town, so hopefully we can keep each other company!
Unfortunately Dan had to spend most of the day Sunday at work, and despite my super-ambitious goal to clean the apartment while he was gone, I found myself still in bed at noon, snuggling with Toby and trying desperately to avoid the real world. I did eventually get out of the apartment to meet my dad, stepmom, and grandmother for a yummy Italian dinner (I hope you aren't keeping track of how much I ate this weekend... I also ran quite a bit, so I'm just going to cross my fingers that it all evens out in the end). Dan and I met at his parents house to drop off his mom's gift, and then we headed back home so that Dan could pack... and pack... and pack. To me, that's always the worst part of any departure -- I can't count the number of times I've watched Dan pack for training while tears streamed down my face, trying to figure out how I was going to make it through the next few days, few weeks, or few months. Last night I held it together pretty well though, reminding myself of the days we still had together and willing myself to focus on the stupid movie on TV, not the fact that my husband was putting all the pieces of his life into bags so that he could send them across the world from me for a year.
The tears didn't come, actually, until this morning, when Dan woke me up at 5:30 to kiss me goodbye. They got worse when I rolled over, after I'd heard the deadbolt click, and found the sweetest Mother's Day card sitting on my nightstand. So I cried my eyes out, wondering how I would ever be able to say goodbye to this man for 13 months. Luckily I have the next three weeks, while he is away at training, to figure it out... and so I wiped my eyes, put on my shoes, and headed for the gym. If nothing else, I'll get a jump-start on burning off all the pints of ice cream and glasses of wine I'll be consuming in three weeks, right?



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