You know how when you drive to a new destination it seems to take forever to get there, but then because you’re now familiar with the journey the trip home seems shorter?
I haven’t belabored the point like I probably did this time last year when she was gone for a month (sorry everybody), but Cynthia’s been in the States for the past four weeks. She finally returns home this Saturday.
Regular readers of this blog may recall that last year she went back to be with her sister in her final days. This trip has been on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum as she got to spend a fun week with our daughter in Hoboken and since has been the nanny for our new granddaughter in Durham. Because of these two absences she has never been in Cuenca during October.
My experience this go-round has been very much like that return car trip. I already did (and survived) a similar separation so it hasn’t been as hard as the first one. Of course we’ve chatted on Skype frequently. The topics of conversation haven’t been nearly as important as simply hearing each other’s voices.
But that doesn’t mean it’s been a bed of roses either. The first week, to take my mind off my aloneness, I was a social maniac—meeting people for lunch, dinner, drinks, bridge, whatever. By Sunday I was fried. I slept my brains out and stayed home in my pajamas all day.
(Taking Hugh Hefner out of it, is there anything more decadent than staying in your PJ’s all day when you’re not even sick? I don’t think so.)
Realizing begrudgingly, once again, that I’m no longer in my twenties and can’t maintain that pace (I think when you totally accept this notion you immediately start to die), I decelerated gradually over these remaining weeks.
Slowed down, yes, but stopped? No way. We’ve become partners in a business here in Cuenca that is very exciting news. I’ll be telling more about it shortly. I’m heavily involved in the International Food Fair to benefit FASEC, a non-profit facility providing hospice care for cancer patients throughout Ecuador. And there have still been plenty of meals, parties, meetings, and excursions along the way. Thanks to my many friends for all the lovely invitations.
Despite all the activity there are two times each day when I cannot ignore my solitude—going to bed each night and waking up each morning. Alone.
Nobody to spoon with on the chilly evenings. No head on my shoulder to quietly welcome each day. These usual best of times have been by far the worst.
Saturday will be a very good day.