One Month Down, ? To Go

In years past we’ve gone a month, or maybe two months apart, and this year we had decided that we weren’t going to do that. To make that happen I would be spending a lot of time sailing as Wife-On-Board, and we would make his leave time from the ship work so that, aside from due to unforeseen circumstances, we would be spending nearly the entire year together.

Prior to the pandemic we were being successful – less than one week apart in 2020, and leading up to it we hadn’t spent more than a week apart since September. Then, everything shut down and eventually the ship sent me home. I realize that all in all we’ve had it good – one month in this situation is absolutely nothing compared to some of our friends that are easily in the 4-6 month category when they likely only planned on three. And, that’s just our cruise ship friends. There are a lot of people that haven’t seen their significant others for even longer due to closure of international borders. Check out https://loveisnottourism.org/ to see their movement to try to open borders for spouses/significant others/etc. For us though, we’ve just passed one month apart and we don’t quite know when or where we’ll get to see each other again. The premise of this blog is “the ups and downs” of our life, and well, right now, this is a serious down.

While we’ve had times before we haven’t seen each other it’s a little different this time because it is still an unknown as to when we will see each other again. This is an unknown as we don’t know exactly when he’s getting off the ship. We thought there was a pretty solid (or as solid as anything is during these times) plan, and then, alas the dang ship got sold. This led to a multitude of questions but most importantly – does the sale end up affecting when he can go home? The reason this would affect this is that to get the ship ready for it’s new owners the ship will be going into a dry dock and then it needs to go through a handover where the Holland America Line team basically gets the Fred Olsen team up to date with the in’s and outs of the ship. That will all be happening within the next couple of months – i.e. less than a normal contract length. So, does this mean he has to stay on longer yet again? The answer: we don’t think so. But, really it’s gone something like this: Maybe? Maybe not? Can you extend? No? Umm. Still maybe?

I think this time it also feels a bit different because we really thought we were going to be able to spend nearly the entire year together. We know that in this life there will be times that we have to spend extended periods of time apart. It’s going to be part of our lives. I get that. But, this year wasn’t supposed to be that. This year we were going to have nearly every day together. In times past while he’s away at sea I’ve stayed home to coach gymnastics or soccer, or to cover the restaurant so the owner could go on vacation, or to stay with my grandma while she recovered from a surgery. This year we didn’t have any of those things – no sports teams to coach, new owners at the restaurant so no vacations to cover, and – crossing fingers I didn’t just jinx my grandma’s current good health – no surgeries scheduled. It was going to be awesome. It was going to be almost like being a normal couple that falls asleep next to each other every night instead of over a video chat from the other side of the world…

I know, compared to so many in this circumstance we have it so well. But, well, that doesn’t make it stink any less for us. In the last week alone I have gone between hopeful that we’ll be able to see each other within the next couple weeks to thinking it would be another two months to being hopeful again. I’m going to choose to focus on the hopeful (even if it might lead to disappointment if it changes) that our One Month Down doesn’t turn into Two and that he will be able to disembark soon. In the meantime, I have my little engineer teddy bear to snuggle with…

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