Friday, August 31, 2012

Missing Dad

     During college Alex and I spent our summers apart pursing our own interests. As a nanny I entertained my charges with water fights, frog catching, hiking, swimming, canoeing and general kickin around. My time off was filled with backpacking, boating, the beach, etc. Of course, all the thrills were pursued with my sister Theresa. After a day’s work (if you could call it that) Theresa and I would meet back at our condo to catch up on any exciting happenings. Then we would make a plan for the evening. I remember screaming down the Ridge Trail, grasshoppers flying to the way side, as the summer sun beat down on my back. I can still hear crickets chirping and stars slowly peeping out in the night sky while we sat around campfires roasting cheese. As dusk settled over the lake, I can see pink and orange hues framing the last skier rooster tailing glassy water. Those summer memories I will cherish forever.

   Likewise, Alex treasures his summertime nostalgias. He spent the summers farming for Uncle Ron. Alex often reminisces about his days on the farm.....anything from back pack spraying to catching the truck on fire while field burning. Kim was his partner in crime. Alex says even if they were shoveling shit it was fun because it’s all about who one works with; not the job. Plus, some days they even caught a cat nap after lunch….their arms pillowing their head on the carpet with muddy boots stretching onto the linoleum. And of course, harvest had a mystique all its’ own. All the farm hands taking turns between combine, bank out wagon and truck while early mornings ran into late evenings. Alex’s stories bring a fire to his eyes and I can see how he treasured working the land.

Uncle Ron...the man.

Alex's Kimmy

     After our relationship matured from dating to engagement our days of separation were far from over. Our engagement was spent two thousand miles apart. Alex was stationed in San Antonio while I finished up my last year of college in Helena. Once we were married Alex scored the taxing job of Aide de Camp which kept him on the road. And I snuck home every couple months for an extended stay. Then came an Afghanistan deployment! When Pierce and I welcomed ‘Dad’ home after six months I promised myself that the time had come for us to live side by side, forever together. But alas! Here I am in Montana again without Alex!
     Each separation has gotten a little more challenging. Partially because we are not 19 anymore, partially because of the additions to the family, but mostly because each day that passes I realize how deeply Alex loves me and I just want to be close to that love.

The life of an Army brat.