Wow! Much has happened since my last post two days ago–namely that I have lost and relocated my partner, gotten a year older, and graduated from having to carry my nearly 50 pound dog everywhere–from bed to potty, from potty to food, from food to water and back to bed again. It’s been a hell of a week! All of this and still more than 5 weeks till the semester ends, 5 weeks till I leave for Asia, 5 weeks till I can take a break from full time work and sole responsibility for the details of daily living that keep the home front functioning smoothly.
I’ll begin by addressing Ralph’s improved mobility, the fact that he is ambulatory again–not functioning fully of four legs but able to move himself from place to place quite nicely on three. For his first couple of days post-operatively, he was barely able to transport himself to his water bowl and back, let alone all the way outside to the yard. And, of course, I’d do anything for my dog. At the same time, however, it challenged me physically to schlep him from place to place–big difference between little Lucy, who’s 5 pounds and Ralph who weighs nearly 10 times that amount.
At the same time I was carrying Ralph from pillar to post, from post to pillar, I was fighting escalating panic about not hearing from S. and not having her respond to my emails or phone calls. By lunch time yesterday what had been fear and worry, then panic and dread, has evolved into full blown and paralyzing terror, so much so that I contacted my mother in Belgium, S.’s sister-in-law in Lexington, and the headquarters of S’s employing NGO in Atlanta. All of this while my partner was warm and well in Hanoi, thinking, according to her, that it had “not been that long” since we had talked. By the time she called around 5:30 yesterday afternoon, I was in bed, trying to maintain my composure by sleeping away the terror that increased with each passing hour. When she attempted to minimize the significance of her silence, relieved as I was to know she was safe, I could respond with little other than anger. Several more hours passed before I was able to enjoy a sense of relief.
Less enjoyable, however, was turning another year older today. Lynn had taken me to lunch yesterday, but I was unable to enjoy any sense of celebration, since I was so worried about S. Today many friends, family members, and students wished me well, but when school ended around one this afternoon, I came home alone to nap away the hours till S. would call this evening. Now that she has and I face another evening without her, I want to curl up again and sleep–preferably for several weeks– dreaming about that morning in May when I’ll wake up with the woman I love–happy, content, relieved–wrapped in the arms of a Vietnam morning.