Kim and I travelled together a lot.

Every time I had a chance to present at a conference or teach somewhere interesting I’d ask if she wanted to come with me.

Once Maggie went away to college Kim almost always said “yes”.

She’d apologize that maybe she was coming with me too much.

I told her, and meant it, I always preferred traveling with her than without her.

She was smart and independent and would set off and explore whatever city we were in while I was teaching and then we’d meet up at night or set out on days that I wasn’t teaching and explore together.

The last two years before she died, she almost always said “yes”.

It was like our first year of dating except better – we knew each other inside and out. We would visit new places and revisit places we loved. We would do things on the road we wouldn’t do at home – take hours together for dinner, stop and enjoy a drink in the late afternoon and just sit. It actually drove us to start to do these things at home as well. Our life on the road made our life together at home even better.

We loved our time together on the road but that wasn’t the only reason Kim almost always said “yes”.

Maggie was in college.

One of Kim’s cousins talked to her about her eldest child being away from college and how much she missed him. This was before Maggie went to college. We didn’t have a child in college yet. The cousin told Kim she’d soon see what it’s like for a child to leave the house.

Kim knew.

She came home and told me the story. She hadn’t said anything at the time. What could she say?

She’d thought, that is hard. But

But, your child comes home for holidays.

But, you can go visit your child now and then.

But, you can call or text your child.

But, you can see pictures of your child on Facebook and see what they’re doing.

Our child, Elena, left the house and we had none of that.

So when Maggie went to college our house was suddenly very empty. We were reminded that Elena would have been in the house another three years.

We missed Maggie but she came home for the holidays, we visited her now and then, we called and texted her and we saw pictures of her on Facebook.

Elena was gone.

The house was empty.

And when I traveled, the house was really empty.

So I always asked Kim if she wanted to come with me and Kim almost always said “yes”.

We were running from an empty house.

Since Kim died I don’t travel because I’m running.

What’s the point?

She’s not at home but she’s also not with me on the road.

I miss her wherever I am.

And strangely, that brings me comfort.

Published in: on April 28, 2017 at 6:29 am  Leave a Comment