Most of the time, I deal with the absence of a spouse pretty well. I think. But occasionally, some odd thing will make the absence feel huge.
Tonight, I went to a kids' school event and walked out with a couple we know fairly well. They always seem very happy and stable in their marriage even if they aren't the most affectionate people on the planet. They had arrived in separate cars and were splitting up for the drive home. We chatted for a few minutes and then said goodbye. As I began to walk away, I caught it out of the corner of my eye: a tender exchange, a quick kiss while they thought no one was looking, and obvious happiness that they'd be together again after a short drive home. It was all I could do to keep the tears on the inside as I walked back to my car.
Admittedly, I'm a little hormonal right now, and feeling a little crazy as the remaining weeks of this deployment alternately look like hours or more years. I suddenly realized how much I missed those moments. I reminded myself that it's almost over, and that I'm lucky to have such a marriage in the first place, and all the usual things that are supposed to cheer me up. It did work, and I got over it (until now...I'm crying again as I type this...bad hormones.) I guess this is my reminder to appreciate the little things.