This, Too, Shall Pass

Two DogsThis cannot last.

It’s a lovely Thursday evening, and my wife is seated next to me, reading her homework for grad school. It’s July, in Arizona, but the Flagstaff air after a thunderstorm is cool and sweet, and I’m wearing a long sleeve shirt with my jeans. I’ve got one dog at my feet, and another pacing nervously. Maybe it’s the thunderstorms. Maybe it’s the fact that she somehow contracted Giardia this week and has been having fits of vomit and diarrhea. Maybe it’s the fact she hasn’t been on a walk today (though she has a yard, and another dog to play with).

But I’ve got a roof over my head, a beautiful, smart, loving woman by my side, and the weather feels perfect. My only problems for the next twelve hours or so will be worrying about my dog’s worrying, and worrying that she’ll spray feces all over the floor again.

Life is good, and this cannot last.

Tomorrow is my wife’s last day at work for the summer. Next week she’ll have to be at her grad school classes in person. In Tucson. About 230 miles away. She’s got a week off after that, and then she’s off for an adventure with a friend from her Peace Corps days. And then… back to school.

We live in a remarkable age where not only can she travel 230 miles back to Flagstaff on the weekends in under four hours (an eight hour, 460 mile round trip per week), but in between we can communicate almost constantly. Text message, instant message, email, cell phone calls without long distance charges, and video chats all help us feel like a family, even when we’re far apart.

Yet there is still the distance, still the longing, still the wishing we were together, and every telephoned “good night” is harder than the last.

But, like our dog’s explosive shitstorms, this cannot last.

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