Monday, July 21, 2008

Day 1

Today was the first of 13 excruciating days without Mango. Ok. Maybe I exaggerate. Maybe it's not quite excruciating. Not yet. Is it ok if I start calling it excruciating somewhere around day 6?

My dear, sweet Mango has gone to Baltimore to learn about Project Lead the Way.

It's not that I can't stand on my own two feet or that we're so enmeshed we cannot function without each other. It's just that I love him. I love his smile, his eyes, the way he smells, the way he laughs. I love living my life with him by my side. I love his familiarity. We're a team. The Mexican people call someone "the other half of my orange." It's hard when the other half of the orange is several states away.

I'm sure that having him gone will remind me of all the things I love about him. Does absence really make the heart grow fonder?

We just spent our 10th anniversary weekend in downtown Minneapolis. We got a room at the Hyatt for dirt cheap, and we listened to free concerts in Peavy Plaza, went to Hell's Kitchen (and other restaurants that do not have gluten-free menus), walked to Loring Park and sat by the dandelion fountain, and visited some very natural and granola crunchy places in Uptown. Oh, and we talked. We finally carried one conversation after another through to completion. I forgot what it felt like to actually get to the end, the bottom, of something. Most of the time life is just too busy for that, and we have one conversation over the course of several days. We laughed, we cried, we walked and danced and swam. It was a glorious 3 days.

I'm sitting here drinking tea because Mango drinks tea. He called home while I was making dinner. Vespera was helping, Novio was working with his computer at the counter, and Mane was chattering away. I had been wondering if it's harder to be the person left at home or the person gone on the trip...until I heard Mango's voice. He said, "Oh, it's good to hear the sounds of home." He had an awful day of flying, and home sounded so comfortable and busy and happy to him. I think it's going to be harder for him than for me. After all, I've got our family here. He just has classes and a couple of roommates and his computer for company. Good thing I finally got a cell phone, and we can talk for free.

It's time for me to take a shower and tuck myself in bed with the Elfquest comics, which I am finally reading since Vespera picked them up and started reading them a few weeks ago. They're Mango's comic books from when he was in high school, and there are pieces of them that have become a permanent part of his understanding of life and the world. I can't believe it took me this long to finally read them. I'm ashamed of myself. He's been my husband for 10 years, and these books have been sitting on our bookshelf for exactly that long. *sigh* We do still have plenty to learn about each other after all these years.


  1. You are inspiring. The way you think is so selfless. I hope you fully believe that is true.
    Yes, it's hard for both the leaver and the stay at homer. But you're right, I think it might be harder for the one who is really all alone, missing their family. More tiring for us, yes. More lonely for them. And lonely is probably worse, eh? Thank you.

  2. You know, I think it *is* harder to be the one at home when you're children are small. Mane is 6, and Vespera is 17. They can both do a *lot* for themselves, and they can be really helpful for me, too. So, it's a little more like having people to hang out with and pass the time together, and a little less like having to take care of everybody and everything.

    And I think it *is* lonely for the person at home when the kids are so small...because there isn't really anyone to talk to. So, then the person at home is tired AND lonely.


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