He’s Gone

He'sGoneIt was early March 2011. I don’t remember the exact date, as I wanted nothing more than to erase it from my mind forever. It was the day I tried so hard to stop. My husband was about to board an airplane that would take him south on an adventure with many unknowns.

My heart was in my throat, my eyes burned, my head was pounding. I didn’t want this and, honestly, I didn’t know why he did (if only I knew then what I know now). I stood there as he checked-in, arms crossed and pissed off. He was leaving me and I didn’t know why. How in the world could this possibly be good for us? Minutes later he was ready to go, just like that. We said goodbye, I watched him go through security, he turned around and waved, turned right, and then he was gone.

He was gone and I was just supposed to resume life as if everything were okay. So, I did what I had to do. I moved one foot in front of the other, walked myself out to my car, got in, and proceeded to get lost leaving the airport. Step one in becoming more independent officially completed. I then made it home and braced myself as the biggest snow storm of the year settled upon us. I cursed him as I tossed the shovel full of snow over my shoulder over and over again just to be plowed back in by the snow plow. Step two in becoming more independent completed.

Fast forward to 6 days ago. Until now, my husband has been fortunate enough to be on local rigs, enabling him to come home every day. We knew this was coming, but nothing can prepare you for the unknown no matter how hard you try. We were standing in line checking out at Kmart and his phone rang. We both knew what it meant: our future was on the other end of the line. He had less than 48 hours to be in Ohio ready to start his next adventure. Not as bad as being down south, but still not home. It felt like day 1 all over again. Those familiar feelings don’t leave, even if they were last felt 4 years ago.

I admit, it was a little different this time. We had confidence this time. In ourselves, in our relationship, in our faith. It was go time. We could do this, couldn’t we? Sure, it would be different, but change can be good. We packed him up and settled in for our last night as a family for two weeks and a day. Packed bags sat idle in our bedroom, pending doom filled my heart. He was leaving again, but I didn’t curse him or wonder why (not even a little bit). It was then I started counting down the hours. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this! As each hour passed I thought to myself, “14 hours left. It’ll be ok,” “9 hours left, morning will be here soon.”

The next morning came as we knew it would, except I didn’t try to stop it this time. I woke up sad, but not broken. I made a nice breakfast we could all have together, packed the remainder of his things, and counted down the remaining 2 hours. I did the dishes, a peaceful distraction, as he packed his car and started warming it up. I stood in the dining room, arms crossed and heart heavy as he hugged our baby girl goodbye. I was next. He was leaving us, and this time I knew why. I know now why this is good for us. He kissed my tear stained lips, hugged me goodbye, made his was down our stairwell, turned right out the door, and then he was gone.

About ashley

Ashley and her husband, Ryan, have been married for 4 years. They became an oilfield family in March of 2011. They live in Northeastern Pennsylvania with their 2 year old daughter, Anistyn, and two fur-children: Kora (the manic Australian Cattle Dog) and Jaxx (your typical lazy house cat). Ashley traded in her various degrees and certifications to take on her ultimate dream job of fulltime mommy and wife. When not throwing over-the-top toddler dance parties and reading the same storybook 104 times in a row she enjoys reading her own books, baking, writing, meeting new friends, trying new things, and saving every animal in need on the planet!


  1. andysgirl says:

    I cry every time my husband leaves and every day that he is gone. I’ve even asked him if there is something wrong with me.

  2. Silent Brick says:

    I must say your not alone in those feelings, my wife has a hard time every time I leave for a hitch. But the flipside is also true. Walking away to get on a plane to spend 2-4 weeks away from your family isn’t fun at all and I suspect alot of us run on autopilot just the same til we reach our work site and have to turn on our brains to make sure that we come back with all bits attached and non-crispy. My wife and I talk every day using gchat or email. Most days we manage a 15-30 min phone call. Those help some, they keep us in touch with each other. My wife also sends me a daily picture of our 3 month old boy, so that I can see him every day, even if it’s just a picture. My suggestion is to stay as connected as possible, and that it’s okay to miss them and be missed.

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