I was sitting in the Seattle terminal, waiting for my delayed flight, when the lady next to me pointed out my use of a cell phone near Amelia could kill her. “Hmm,” I said. A few minutes later, she pulled out her cell phone to show me pictures of her children. She asked if I breastfed. She described her calm hypno-birth.
It was then I realized I made it to the west coast.
And now, I sit at a desk on a farm of sorts, surrounded by purple mountains. My mom’s culinary skills surpass most people’s, and it is evidenced in the bottles of homemade wine lined in neat rows on the counter top, the fresh brown and blue eggs, and the 50 lb containers of flour and sugar. A big sign that reads “Heavenly Roost Berry Farm” is propped up on the wrap-around porch- they hope to turn it into a bed and breakfast someday. There are chickens (including newly-hatching chicks in a warmer), rabbits, ducks, ‘pet’ geese, and there are deer that roam right up to the windowpanes sometimes. There is a garland of greenery hung near the grand piano, and we brought home a giant Christmas tree. The wood burning stove gives a glow and warmth in the evenings. I actually get home cooked meals (my own attempts have been pitiful), I get to see my youngest brother whom I haven’t seen for a year, and my mother adores her grandchild.
I should feel at home here- there isn’t a place on earth with so many sweet, domestic things. It could very well be the prettiest place to spend Christmas. My mom and step-dad have been so gracious, and have bent over backwards finding the things that Millie needs.
But she makes a new ‘b’ sound that gets everyone laughing. She wore a new shirt yesterday, and looked so cute in it. He isn’t here. He doesn’t see these things. There is so much I want him to be a witness to, but he isn’t. I go to bed alone and wake up alone, and I wonder if he feels the sting of it like I do. Aren’t these things supposed to be a benefit to marriage? There is someone there. There is someone sharing your story.
The second I got on the plane in Champaign, I missed him. I looked out the window towards the black and purple horizon, and the lights of the little town where he works, and I wondered what he was thinking. I’m aching to go back and scared to go back at the same time. My heart can’t handle this a second time. Neither can Amelia’s.
The lights are shimmering on the tree, and the evening is winding down. It’s two hours later in Illinois time, and I’m feeling the drowsiness taking over. I’ll have a piece of the cake I made with my mom, and I will sit down to watch the TV shows I usually laugh over with Sky. Then I’ll shut my door and listen to Millie’s soft breaths until I go to sleep, too. And, in the morning, when the daylight leaks into the room, I’ll be one day closer to something- and maybe, it’s him.