Steve came home from his last trip on the eve of Thanksgiving. Dark had fallen. The house was clean, pizza was just delivered, Mariachi Beef, my favorite!, cold beer was in the fridge, there was a fire in the fireplace, and the kids and I sported huge grins when we met Daddy at the door. We had college friends coming in for the night, and we were hosting both families the next day for Thanksgiving dinner. Anticipation, family, friends and love filled the home.
Steve's Captain went home to a much different house...an empty one, I assume.
Do you recall the blog post "Hey Baby, I'm an Airline Pilot" ... this is the same guy. What was I calling the guy, Joe? Ok, let's go with Joe. Remember that Joe is probably late 40's and divorced with high-school aged kids. Steve said he overheard Joe calling a local restaurant to preorder some dinners for his kids, who were visiting the day after Thanksgiving. Breaks my heart. Really it does. Apparently Steve didn't get along too well with Joe, so he didn't have as much sympathy for him as I did. But still, holidays are best spent with family...not alone. Well, I guess Joe has a girlfriend, but not much was mentioned about her. So, maybe she is more of a 'sometimes' in his life, not an 'always'. Maybe she WAS at his house when he got there...
And this brings me to the lonely pilot. Being an airline pilot can be a lonely job. Imagine: walking on the beautiful beaches of Cabo...the waves crashing like thunder...warm sun...beautiful scenery...and you are all alone...you wish that your wife was there with you. This is the truth of when Steve is in these beautiful and tropical destinations. Or maybe it is just his way of trying to make me feel better about the shitty weather back at home.
Remember this picture:
Steve sent it to me from...Hawaii was it? The message went something like "wish you were here." Life is better shared with someone, I fully believe. No matter where you are, or what you are doing, life is better with someone...a special someone. So, when Steve is off to these amazing places, alone, it can get to him. But, he has someone to come home to, times three. I am sure that can keep him going at times.
And Joe? What did he go home to? A dark house. A quiet house...until Fox News came on the boob tube. I image there be no warmth in his home...people provide warmth. I feel for him. I did suggest that Steve invite Joe to our Thanksgiving, and his response was something to the effect of "oh hell no. I don't feel that badly for him." Did I already mention that they don't get along too well? I could go on about the multitude of stories that Steve shared about this guy...but that is for another post.
I will say it again: life is better with someone...a special someone. And every time Steve tells me about a CA that is divorced, it breaks my heart. And the same goes for FOs. I usually greet Steve at the door when he comes home. Maybe the kids are still up and provide extra smiles and hugs. I usually have some food ready for him. The house is lit and it is warm, in these cold and dark months. And then the night may end with appropriate welcome home activities, if you catch my drift. Sleeping next to someone is so much better than sleeping next to...no one. I couldn't imagine coming home from a trip to an empty home. No one to greet you. No one to hug. No lights turned on. Yet another cold bed to climb into...
I hope that Joe finds someone. Or maybe Joe doesn't want to find anyone. Maybe Joe wants to come home to a quiet house. Maybe Joe was burned by his ex so much so that he swears off women forever. Who the hell knows. I just hope Joe is happy. I wish happiness for everyone, in whatever form it may come.
And I know that with the holiday season upon us, lots of us pilots wives are going to be feeling lonely as well. Steve was home for Thanksgiving, but will be missing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The bitch part about it all is that Ben really gets Santa this year...and it could be so magical for him. We will just need to be that much more creative with timing and stories. New Years schedule isn't out yet, so that is to be determined. Steve will also be missing my company holiday party. As much as it sucks, and it may really suck badly, take comfort in your friends and family. Take comfort in the laughter of your children. Take comfort in your familiar surroundings. Take comfort in knowing that soon enough your husband will be home from a trip. AND - make the most of the time that you have together. I will say it again: absence really does make the heart grown fonder. So, for all the lonely that will be going on over the next month, that much more lovin' will be happening. At least that is my plan.