Yet, summer is not cooperating with me. Summer wants me to identify its memory with something more sinister. This was before my husband started crossing the continent on airplanes, and we started just missing each other at home, and at the lake. Our schedules are completely out-of-sync, and in late-night panics, I wonder if there will ever be a time again when our heartbeats occupy the same time in space.
This was before the great accident of the summer, which, in the words of my husband, “changed everything.” Since that accident, I’ve been on my own, while my husband is busy traveling, and the workload seems to have tripled. All the things that my son could do before he can no longer do. So, I am doing all the work that he once did, and we are taking care of him. The younger boys haven’t quite embraced the concept of “picking up the slack.” When people ask my husband, “How’s Susie’s break at the lake,” he says, “It’s not really a vacation any more.”
I know how to be strong, and I want to appear that all is under control — but sometimes I am not. I’d really love to have an adult give me a break in the evening. But my husband and I have been like ping-pong balls in opposite sides of the court lately. When I was home for surgery, my husband was in Seattle. Then, through some fluke of flight scheduling, I came back to the lake, anticipating seeing him here, only to learn later that an emergency meeting sent him right back home less than 6 hours after he arrived. The kids are happier here at the lake, so that makes life easier here, and the thought of packing for another 3-hour car ride with the boys, only to turn around and come back in a few days seemed silly. When we were home, the boys rarely ventured outside. So we settled in and stayed. Besides, you lake friends do make life bearable.
While those solo moonlight boat rides to watch the shooting stars may have happened only a few weeks ago, they feel stretched in time, sitting in past decades. Uncle Bud and Aunt Joyce are coming Friday morning; they always are a refreshing break. If all goes as planned, I’ll be in my husband’s arms again by Friday afternoon. Until then, this is my touchstone.