I measure the holidays in turkeys. He will miss one turkey dinner for sure (Thanksgiving)–perhaps three (Christmas and Easter).
I try to be optimistic and cheerful, but I don’t quite make it. I’m worried sick about him and I haven’t been sleeping well.
Worst of all, I don’t know what to say. I love you is fairly obvious as is be careful, but there should be far more profound things to share. He is positive and upbeat and I don’t want to spoil his mood with my apprehension.
We have one last coffee together at the airport before he goes through security to the boarding gate.
When I get back to the car after saying good-bye, I receive his text: I love you and I miss you already.
I reply: Me, too. Take care of yourself and come home safely.
Maybe that’s all I needed to say all along.