Today is Phil's birthday. He is 41; though, to look at him, you would swear he is not a day older than 31 (and I'm not just saying that because I think he's the hottest man on the planet...)
Last year, we celebrated the big 4-OH! with a swanky party in Tallahassee. It was the first time Phil had been feted on his birthday and, since it WAS a milestone birthday, I went all out: yummy catering from M.A.D. About Food; boozy libations; sweet tunes from our favorite local band, The Recliners; and legions of friends and family surrounding the birthday boy with love and good wishes on his special day.
Today, on the day of the big 4-ONE! I am in Tallahassee and Phil is at home in Fort Myers. The key clause in that sentence is "Phil is at home in Fort Myers." Yes, HOME. In FORT MYERS. The irony of that reality struck me as I was driving north on the 75, heading to Tallahassee for yet another week of Special Session/committee meetings.
In the year since the "40 Is The New 30" milestone birthday party, more than just ages have changed. It was just before his birthday last year, during a trip to Key West, that Phil announced to me his intention to move to Fort Myers (from Tallahassee, natch), and that he had already begun house-hunting in earnest. He was so earnest, in fact, that he almost bought a house two days before we left for Key West. Whoa! Just a month after returning from that trip, we found "our" house and set about planning for cohabitation (the SAT word for "living in sin.")
Life is good; but, after 6 years and 6 months of living long-distance, some habits die hard. To wit, I'm still EXTREMELY protective of our time together (it's a vestige of that long, long time when we could only spend weekends together.) During the past four weeks, I've been home for exactly 6 days. That ratio of time takes me right back to our time in long-distance exile. Being apart for extended periods is never fun, but it is especially not fun when you have to be away from the one you love on their birthday. Thus my abject sadness at having to leave, yet again, and miss celebrating with Phil on the actual day of his birthday. The more things change, the more they stay the same. A cliche, sure, but so very, very true in this case.
Still, I know how very lucky I am. When I return to Fort Myers Thursday night, I'm going back to a beautiful home, and the love of my life will be there, and all will be right in the world (at least until I have to leave again...).
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