Husband #2 came back for a visit. For me, he was returning “home”. For him, it was a visit to “Deja’s Place”. Reminders of the past haunted him. He saw threads of the business we built together. Some in our home, some in our equipment, and some on the highways he would travel to get from client to client. He misses the business.
Not all of it, there are parts that drove him nuts. He misses the backbone, the skill that he worked on to take a part time hobby and make it into a full time endeavor which employed the two of us, funded a household, and fed the kids.
I knew it would be hard for him to return. Part of my promise to him included going out of town. We spent a majority of our time together in a different state, exploring the back country roads, cruising through little towns built on lakes, rivers, and hills with great views.
Our whirlwind of driving came to a close with 1 half day spent at “our house”. (It’s still “ours” in my mind and heart.) Husband #2 may have vacated the premises but he forgot to pack the memories. “Our” house is filled with ghosts of his handiwork…the hardwood floors we installed, the kitchen we gutted, the porch he and I built together. I can’t swing a broom without hitting something we installed, replaced, or painted.
Six days of vacation eating pie at diners, finding coffee shops, hiking trails, searching for the best cannoli, wine tasting and my favorite time was spent at home with domestic chores.
You see, Husband #2 likes to do things for me. Specifically, he likes to know that he’s left me in a good way (we can debate that sentiment at a later date). He wants to know that I’m taken care of.
Our last day together was spent at home and it was hard for me. The situation felt so normal…so familiar.
Husband #2 fixed the flat on the riding mower and he changed the oil. I watched him zoom around the yard on the rider, just like I used to do when he was here. We didn’t engage in our battle over the height of the blade, but he made sure to point out the level he set the mower deck to, just so I would know.
He also fired up the chainsaw I got him as a present one year for Father’s Day and chopped down 10 or so small trees that have sprung up in inconvenient places. It reminded me of the past when we cleared out 20 pine trees ravaged by borers and suffering from cramped conditions. There was a time when he and I could take down a 30 foot tree and clean up the site in just a bit over an hour. I still have a film clip of Husband #2 playing King of the Mountain on a downed tree trunk. O Primal Man!
Knowing that I picked my landscaping battles for this summer and concentrated on clearing out the ½ acre of woods, Husband #2 went to work in the garden beds weeding the asparagus patch. He commented on the Purple Passion asparagus that I grew from seed. He left before the bed was fully established for harvesting. Three years from sprouting, the rootstock is finally mature enough for picking. I enjoyed the spears earlier this spring, he did not.
Even though we’ll see each other again in October, it was difficult to take him to the airport. He talked of being homesick, wanting to go back to his life without me. I sat beside him silently thinking of how I wanted him to stay here with me, knowing better than to say so.
I wasn’t ready for the certain rejection.