(I started this post back in February.. I never got the chance to complete it then.. Mostly because I felt it was just a bit of rambling that concerns no-one.. I still think it is no more than that... and I am not quite sure why I am publishing it!...
Nevertheless, I am grateful to Abu Fares for prompting me, with his post, to finish it.. This is an updated version of the original post, as some of the original contents would have been irrelevant now..)
In February, my wife went to Damascus for a short visit.. Ever since we came to the UK, my wife has spent the Summer holidays in Damascus.. Every year, without fail, she would 'abandon' me for two months.. She often says that it is written in her marriage contract that she is entitled to two months a year, away from me.. and some of our English friends actually believed her!!.. In recent years, as the children are now at University, she has been going to Damascus twice a year.. She still goes in the summer, albeit for a shorter period, but now she also goes in February for three weeks or so... so she still gets her 'contractual' two-month break!..
Anyway, let's not digress too much...
We have been living in the UK for twenty-two years.. You would have thought that after twenty-two years of this ritual, I would have got used to her periodic absence.. The fact of the matter is.. I miss her now more than I used to miss her ten.. fifteen.. or twenty years ago..
I find it quite intriguing that, even after all those years, I still yearn for her company as much as I did twenty-six years ago.. (well.. more like 'thirty years ago' if you count the years of 'underground secret struggle'!.)..
It is often said that we never appreciate what we have until we lose it, but I do not subscribe to that notion.. I would like to think that I always show my wife how much I appreciate her (although, I am sure, there are time when she would disagree!..).. Then again, I guess I am one of those lucky people.. I married my childhood sweetheart, and she was, and still is, everything I ever dreamed of or wished for in a woman.. a wife, a friend and a companion, an advisor and a confidante.. and a lover...
I am a lousy sleeper at the best of times.. most of my posts, for example, are done at the early hours of the morning.. When she is away, I sleep even less.. I toss and turn in bed, waking up several times during the night, sensing her absence and longing for her presence..
During the day, I find myself ringing home from work.. in the full knowledge that there is no-one to answer.. I just feel that I need to reach out for her..
So, I admit it.. quite unashamedly.. I did miss my lovely wife when she was away, even though I have been very busy at work.. even though she was only away for three weeks.. (ONLY three weeks?.. Why, then, did it feel like three years??..)
But why do I miss her now more than ever?.. Simple, really.. the more time we spend together, the more reliant on each other we become.. She is my soul-mate, not just my wife..
A wise old man once told me that life is too damn short.. the clever ones amongst us make the most of the times we can spend with the people we care about most.. Take it from this not-so-wise, and not-so-old man: life is too damn short.. spend it accumulating beautiful memories.. don't waste it with useless arguments.. fill it with love and happiness, not with anger and frustration..
(Picture: 'Endless Love' by Alfred Gockel)