Sunday, November 19, 2006

Coming Home

When the person you love the best is almost always far from home, you make adjustments. When you live this way by planned choice, that helps. Today we can get cheap cell phone accounts and communicate by internet, so it's not as lonely as it might have been in days gone by.

But it's still hard sometimes.

Walter's family is in Europe, so my family is his family here. The holidays used to be hard on him, not the American Thanksgiving, but Christmastime. For years and years he preferred to be out on the road instead of home at Christmas, because that would just remind him of his family so far away.

Thanksgiving, though, he enjoyed without reserve. Nothing wrong with a lot of good food and the reasons we celebrate that day. Plus he really loves turkey.

Me, I'm fine with being by myself most of the time. Thanksgiving included. Sometimes I cook it up, sometimes not at all, sometimes just a bit. When I worked I lived far away from my own family. I loved having a whole day where I had no work and no obligations and no duties. I worked such long hours, often 80-90 hours per week, it was a great treat to do absolutely nothing all day.

These days, when Walter's out on the road for too long, he gets homesick. He tries not to show it but I can tell. He works as hard as he possibly can to keep us going. That means staying out driving for two or three months before he comes home.

We thought he wasn't coming back until Christmas. This was hard because he needed some home time. We couldn't work it out with his employer. He held out, though, and made it through a bad patch.

And then, just last week, he got a run to Lakeland, Florida. That's not so very far away, maybe a five hour drive. The sort of thing I could usually do with no problem even after I got sick.

It would have been so nice just to run up there in the Saturn and visit for a while. He was held over for the weekend too, not delivering his load until Monday. Tomorrow. We could have hung out together for three days.

But he'd read my posts about the foot and realized it wouldn't be a good idea. And nothing I said could change his mind.


Even though his driver manager said Florida was full of empty trucks and no loads out, Walter got dispatched to Ft. Lauderdale.

If all y'all heard me screaming YESSSSSSSS!!!!!!! all the way through Florida and Georgia and North Carolina to New York and Tennessee and Illinois and Wisconsin and Minnesota and Texas and Salt Lake City and Tucson and Prescott and LA and Oregon - hell, probably even Egypt and wherever KeesKennis ran off to in Africa - well, that was why.

It turned out they were deadheading him here - running from Lakeland with no payload - just to put him closer to the action, to where they estimated loads would be turning up. Meaning, see, he didn't have to leave Ft. Lauderdale right away.

I kinda think his manager was giving him a little present for Thanksgiving. Cause he really does a great job, Walter does. Makes his boss happy. And I know that from experience: Walter was the greatest employee I ever had.

He promptly put in for three days off. He'll be here Monday, late afternoon, and stay through Thanksgiving at least. After that, it depends on when he gets dispatched again.

Well well well.

I see a nice stuffed turkey in my future.


Jean said...

k, that's wonderful news!

k said...

Isn't it something? Talk about timing!

Jean said...

Yepper... you've got some good karma going, I'd say!

Livey said...


Kenny said...

Who is Walter?

k said...

Walter's my guy. My SO. We've been together since June, 1993, soon after Hurricane Andrew.

He was my husband for 7 years. I had to get a divorce even though I didn't want to: he had temper issues, mostly due to untreated depression IMO, and it wasn't until we divorced that he hit bottom enough to really address them. It's hard for anyone to do that - I know from personal experience - and I think it's much harder for guys sometimes.

But when he decided to, he really went to town on it.

He thought and thought and learned and changed and grew. Got his depression treated, and what a difference that made. I had told him: --I'm in love with the *healthy* Walter and I don't want to divorce you but I can't take the anger any more. I never stopped loving you.

He remembered that.

He's a long haul truck driver now. He stayed away on the road for most of a year. We still talked; there were things that bound us, our business we had to liquidate, things like that. He was the best ex-husband, and he gave me space for me to heal, too. And time. He let me see over time that he'd learned to change his behavior. And he really did. Really and truly, from within.

That just about never happens.

I have great respect for this man. He is a genuinely fine, an exceptional human being. What he did for us, that took great courage on his part. Not least because at the time we finally divorced, in 2001 - oh, heartbreaking, it was final two weeks after 9/11, and 9/11 is his birthday - anyway, by that time a part of me just hated him. I was angry too, oh, yes.

So we're together again. My ex-husband is now my common-law husband.

I'm not the easiest person to live with, myself, for eighteen million reasons. And he knows that, and tells me so. He does not lie about things, which is exactly how I want it. He sees me clear as a bell - and loves me anyway.

I see him clearly too. I love all of him and the ground he walks on.

That's who Walter is.