Separate, But Soulmates

3 02 2015

cedar key sunrise 11Given that it’s February, I don’t think it’s too sappy to write about love today. Anyone who knows me knows that I am deeply, deeply in love. It oozes from my pores. It creeps from the corners of my smile. I sometimes try to veil it around people I don’t know that well, but I often find myself boasting about my beloved to complete strangers. I mean, she’s AWESOME, sooo…

For two months, however, I am living apart from my soulmate. I’ve lived apart from partners in the past, and you learn how to do little things to help you feel connected. Talking on the phone every night to share the silly little things that, on their own, don’t seem worth talking about, but when they add up, they make up our entire day. Sharing photos of sunrises, or poetry. I knew that 2 months would fly by before we knew it.

bk sunswt grilleThe trouble is, I made a small miscalculation. This is not just a boy/girlfriend or fiance, or even a spouse. She’s the person that I never knew I was waiting to meet, for longer than I’ve been in this body. Her soul makes mine sing every morning that I wake up next to her (though I sing real quiet so I don’t wake her up). Simply seeing her makes me smile! It’s been five years since we met- three since we wed- and I still cannot wait to kiss her every single day that I come home. When I met her, suddenly every sappy love song that came on the radio MEANT something to me. So, yeah, I might seem melodramatic when I share how much I miss her, but it’s nothing but the honest truth. I ache without her.

It’s not easy for either of us, although only one of us is left in the midwest in February. I know that she is trying to enjoy the balmy beauty of northern Florida, but would rather be home as well. She didn’t take an opportunity to leave me for some amazing personal growth or career development reason, so there is no ‘reward’ at the end of this journey. No, she agreed to go to Florida to work for my family.

family train stationMy mom decided to get my brother Kurt out of Michigan for a couple months to celebrate the fact that he turned 40 years old on January 20th. She might seem like an exceptional mom, and she is. But I’m not holding my breath for the same luxurious gift for myself in six years. No, Kurt really deserves this. When he was 21, he was an a horrible car crash- an accident due to his own reckless driving- and suffered a brain injury that has left him trapped in his body, unable to walk or talk or eat. For 18 years, my mom has done everything- taken him just about everywhere- to find any shred of hope that he could gain back some control over his body. Kurt is ‘in there,’ though communication is challenging at best. He has a system of eye blinks- 1= yes, 2= no, 3= I don’t know. It doesn’t work when he’s tired. Or stubborn. You often have to ask him to answer a question 3 or 4 times to be sure that you understood what he wants. And sometimes he just blinks at you, and you realize that you are trying to interpret a message that simply isn’t there.

cedar key sunrise 9After all the hardships that Kurtis, and my mom, have endured, they both earned this vacation. They rented a two-story beach house in a quiet little town. It’s on a flat, paved road, where Kurt’s wheelchair frequently gets passed by more golf carts than cars. From his rented hospital bed, he can see out the picture window onto the water, and there are eagles nesting just behind the house. It’s a relief, not to have to worry about whether or not the day shift worker is going to be able to make it up the icy dirt roads back home. The catch is, you have to bring all your staff with you.

b photo sunsetEnter Bethany. After struggling to find someone willing to relocate to Florida for 2 months, my mom called my wife to ask her to consider the job. It’s not something Bethany wanted to do, though she did work in medical assisting as a young adult. The reason she left was because she is too squeamish, so that has been a challenge for her taking this on. We also just got into the groove of living together again, after being separated by a state for the 9 months between my accepting the job offer down in Indiana, and Bethany finishing her Masters degree up in Michigan. While we were separated then, however, we rarely spent more than a couple weeks apart, as one or the other of us would make the 5 hour drive so regularly, our radio stations were tuned for the shifting reception. Nevertheless, when it came right down to it, Bethany had flexibility, and my family had a need. So she selflessly accepted the long-distance position, and I started searching for a reliable pet sitter to help me out back home.

bahia bridge b 3I have to say, I was originally nervous about being lonely, then I got excited about finally having some time to myself to work on things like my art, and writing. Since my return to Michigan, however, I have been utterly (and gratefully) inundated with friends reaching out to keep me busy. I haven’t turned down an invite yet (unless I was already busy), and it’s been a welcome distraction! If anything, I’m actually a little exhausted from all the socializing thus far. As time goes on, I’m sure that I will find a healthy balance to recharge my introverted bones, without falling into a funk.
cedar key sunrise 4They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I suppose that’s true. But I truly don’t think that I could possibly be any fonder of the amazing, energetic, blissfully sunny woman that I am blessed to call my wife. I love her just as much as I did before, but the difference is that it has to travel a lot farther now to reach her. No matter how many things you do to show your love, the ions from my heart are getting lost and scattered in the sea mist, and I only wish that she could still feel my love in its purest, closest form.

On the plus side, I’m finally creating poetry for her again:

“Sunset Moon”

As this frozen night falls in Indiana

I see the ocean through your eyes,

the sun licking the surface,

the clouds kissing the breeze.

I dip my paintbrush in the water,

dripping with colors so rich,

I can smell the oranges on my paper,

doves cooing in my ears.

When I awake from your salty ocean

I find myself alone with just the moon.

It glows so balmy in the bleak sky,

blanketed by your burnished amber sunset.





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