About a week ago I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. It only took a moment to register the cause—my subconscious was alerting me that it is getting time for George to leave us and head to Alaska to catch the halibut and blackcod quota.
I didn’t mention anything about it out loud, though (if you don’t talk about something, it won’t happen, right?). Unfortunately, for all my wishful thinking, I overheard George tell my dad yesterday that he’d called the crew and given a start date for the longline gear work: April 28.
This is a hook-and-line fishery that uses lines several miles in length on the ocean floor to catch both halibut and blackcod. A captain and crew can be gone from just a few weeks to several long months, depending on how much quota a captain has to catch, or how long it takes him to catch it. Weather, gear trouble, and whale trouble can all add to the timeline.
When George knows he’ll be leaving soon, he makes an extra effort to help me out at home and show us all a good time outside of it. We had a pizza party on Friday evening (thanks, Grandpa Jack!) and on Saturday, we took Eva and Vincent in the sunshine and met our friends at a big farm outside of town. Eva had the thrill of her 2-year old life as she saw real ducks, geese, and bunnies up close and personal after “years” of just reading about them.
It was a wonderful weekend in spite of the fact I’ve already begun the first stage of grief, which in this type of situation–George’s impending departure–is always Panic.
Here’s how Panic works: “I’ll be all alone–every diaper will be mine to change! Each meal will be mine alone to prepare, serve, and clean up! Each bag of groceries will be mine to haul up the stairs and into the house. Each cry from our little ones will be mine to tend to and soothe. All of our young dog Toby’s special food, treatments and medications for his cancer will be mine to dispense. I won’t have anyone to talk to!”
Of course, Panic is rarely rational. The good news is that it only lasts about a week. After that, I’ll transition into the second of my customized five stages, Denial.
Now, I want to congratulate our good friends and crew, Brett and Danielle, on the birth of their beautiful baby girl. She just arrived yesterday. Great work, Danielle. I can’t wait to see you all soon and believe me, I feel for you on the timing of it all. Enjoy these first moments and days together as a family and rest, rest, rest.