[pct-l] Loved ones left at home

Wayne Kraft wayneskraft at comcast.net
Wed Feb 20 17:05:18 CST 2008

This is the kind of post that makes this list worth reading.  Filled with 
wisdom and warmth and worth saving away for future reference.  Thank you, 
Lindy.  You are clearly a wonderful wife and mom.  The men in your life are 
richly blessed.

Wayne Kraft

[pct-l] Loved ones left at home
Linda Bakkar lbakkar at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 20 13:02:11 CST 2008

    * Previous message: [pct-l] USPS larger flat rate boxes
    * Next message: [pct-l] dehydrator
    * Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

                There has been talk on this list about the feelings of the
person left at home.  This year, I am leaving my husband of 42 years at
home, and I have had off-and-on guilt feelings about it.  But I have also
been on the other side, so this message is to help the loved ones who stay

 My husband left me behind several times over the years as he traveled
overseas.  Some of those times were filled with uncertainty about his safety
and about the length of time he would be gone - weeks, or months.  I
remember vividly the first time he left.  I watched his airplane fly into
the blue sky until it was a tiny dot and disappeared.  (That was at least 30
years ago, and you could go to the gate with your family back then.)  With
two small children in tow, I walked through the airport halls to my waiting
car with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.  There was an emptiness
that I could not escape.  He was not in the car.  He was not in his seat at
the dining room table for dinner.  When I woke up in the morning, his side
of the bed was still made up.

 But I went on with my life.

 Those tears and the empty feeling do not continue with the same intensity -
at least for me they didn't.  Within a few days, I remember having a
perverse feeling of freedom, when I was at a friend's house and I realized I
could stay as late as I wanted without having to call my husband so he would
not worry.

 Another thing I did that helped me was to throw myself into a big project.
The last time my husband flew overseas, I painted my two story house by
hand.  It took me a whole month, but I knew he would be pleased when he got
home, because he wouldn't have to take care of that chore himself.  If you
have a house of your own, there are always home improvement projects you can
find.  Knowing that you are doing something to surprise your loved one helps
to make the absence easier.  If you do not own a home, maybe you could take
a class or learn something new.  Learn to draw, learn about geology, learn
photography - anything new will preoccupy your mind with something other
than your loneliness.  It will also make you a more interesting person for
your loved one to enjoy when you are reunited.

 When my husband was gone, I felt great relief whenever I received a phone
call from him.  This year, when I am on the trail, I plan to call my husband
as often as I can, just to give him ease of mind that I am okay.  When I was
at home, getting a phone call from my husband did not make me yearn for him
any worse - but it eased my mind that he was doing well, and also that he
was thinking of me.

 I also think that, if the loved one is included in the planning as well as
resupply help, it can make a big difference in feelings.  My husband likes
to be a part of my life, even if it is something where he cannot physically
be there with me.  I have included him in my planning, asked for his advice,
enlisted him to help me make my stove and other little engineering projects
for my hike, and asked him to be ground support for me.  Allowing your loved
one to be a part of your plans makes it seem less like abandonment, I think.
  When my husband asked me to help him with various aspects of his trips, I
still felt empty, but I felt needed and wanted.  There is a difference.

 Lastly, I feel I need to put this in perspective.  I have also been a
mother who had to say goodbye to her son when he was sent to Iraq, near the
beginning of the war.  That painful emptiness was acute - especially when a
CH-46 helicopter went down on the first day of the war, and it was reported
on CNN that all were killed.  I was alone watching that announcement, and
that was our son's kind of helicopter.  It was a full night and day before
we knew that he was not on the list of fallen soldiers.  LOVED ONES AT HOME,
you are NOT sending your person to a war zone.  Yes, there are dangers on
the trail.  But your hiker person is fulfilling a dream, going somewhere
with hopefulness and happiness - not a place of war.

 For the loved ones at home, know that you are allowing your hikers to
experience an adventure of a lifetime, and that most will come home

 For the hikers out there, only YOU can know your own situation.  My advice
may not fit for you, or it may.  Just keep listening to your gut, and go
home if you have to.  I am glad if my words can help your loved ones stick
it out.

 Lindy (Blue Butterfly) Bakkar

    * Previous message: [pct-l] USPS larger flat rate boxes
    * Next message: [pct-l] dehydrator
    * Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

More information about the Pct-l mailing list

More information about the Pct-L mailing list