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Cracker And Cheese

My dad bought me this cheap perfume from the drug store at Christmastime and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved it. My sister even liked it and wanted to steal the deep purple vial that’s hideously bedazzled in hookerish looking rhinestones. It’s the kind of perfume that needs only one spritz and would probably stain dark clothing.

I imagined that the smell lingered on Shawn’s forearm in the morning as he left for Japan.

At least I had hoped so.

These shorts are stupid but I love them

You know, I’ve never been without Shawn for more than a weekend.

I woke up to a house that was eerily quiet and with a pang in my heart, missing my big cheese slice already. At first I thought I was being as stupid as my pajama shorts for be feeling so out of sorts that soon, and even blamed it on my misfiring brain and my frumpy fall heart – was it too quick to take a mole hill of a situation and construct it into a towering, rumbling, internal, volcanic eruption of emotions?


I am pretty sure this is normal.

It’s normal to feel this way when a spouse leaves.

OK, maybe I feel it a pinch more than regular people.

When Shawn told me he had this wonderful opportunity to go to Japan, I think I punched him in the arm over lunch and said, “Get the f*** out of here! When do you leave?” I think he was surprised by my reaction. I told him that he’d be foolish not to go.

As the time came near, my anxiety spiraled. He mumbled about this trip and I said, “You need to go. This happens to me every fall. You have to go. We will be fine. I promise.”

Shawn doesn’t get my anxiety and bipolar brain so I stopped trying to make him understand it years ago.

He doesn’t get that my thoughts run constantly. They can be fast and sometimes as slow as the thick drizzle of honey off of a tip of a spoon. And it’s the loudest ones I must weed through – the ones that tell me that horrible things will happen to him and to my son and to myself. They can be so believable sometimes.

It’s literally impossible to make people understand this when they don’t have a mental illness themselves…


So now, I just tell him I’m sick.

When I tell him that I’m sick, he asks: “What do you need me to do?”

Or when he sees that I’m struggling, he asks:  “Do you want me to take you to the hospital or call Dr. B?  What can I do?”

I’ve learned that it’s OK that he doesn’t understand my personal pain.

He understands that I need help, that he jumps in to help right away,  and that is more than OK.


He asked me what I had wanted from Japan as I was ironing his dress shirts the evening before he left. “I’ll get you whatever you want!”

I laughed and he said, “Well not whatever you want. I am not made out of money and customs has rules.”

I wasn’t laughing at that. I was actually laughing as I folded the sleeves of his dress shirts to rest just below the bends in his forearm. He can’t fold them himself. He looks like an angry struggling giant T-Rex. I could only imagine him in a hotel room in Japan trying to wrestle with a damn dress shirt…”The f***** sleeves on these things. I can’t see behind…is it folded straight? They’re crooked! For the love of shit!”

“I don’t need anything. I just want you to be safe.”

He bugged me once more and I said, “I want you to take pictures of Japan and to text me.”

I love taking pictures and so he said he’d take the good camera.

Of course he left it at home.

Just like I left my wallet at home and the keys in the doorknob on Monday.


On Sunday, when I saw two lights in the middle of the road and realized they were actually a set of raccoon eyeballs, I just kept plowing forward. Just like Shawn taught me to do.

I. Did. Not. Back. Down. Shawn.


Sigh, we really do need each other.

Cracker and cheese.

PS. Japan looks beautiful from the pictures Shawn sent so far. What a guy.






  1. Yep. I pretty much hyperventilate the minute Nate says he has to go out of town. I just don’t function well without him. And I do dumb things like forget to take my meds so that the time he’s away is that.much.worse. He is my rock and I am not ashamed. And like Shawn, I don’t know that he truly understands my anxiety 100% either. But God he tries. And I love him for it. I’m thinking of you and I hope the time Shawn is gone is over nice and fast.
    And girl, I would rock the heck out of those pajama shorts. They look comfy.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Oh the dumb things I’ve done Beth. I think it’s the lack of sleep. I’ve left the keys in the doorknob, wallet on the counter, dinner in the oven that wasn’t turned on for 30 minutes…My husband is my rock too. And nope. Not ashamed. I do think though, that we need each other a lot more than the other notices.
      And heck yes, these shorts are comfy! xoxox

  2. I get this l. I feel excited when Bryan has the chance to travel for work but like I don’t know what to do either. It’s an adjustment for sure. That said, I think it’s sweet that you both do these small gestures for each other. You iron his shirts, he makes good on his promise to text you pictures. <3

    I hope your cracker comes home soon and that you and Chunky are finding fun ways to bond this week. Hugs!!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I was so excited that he got this opportunity because there is no way that we would ever go together. It’s incredibly expensive to fly there! I guess that when they got there, they stopped at a small bar and cleared them out of all their beer. Damn Canadians.
      I hope that he’s taking better pictures. The next one he sent was one of their toilets, a few cars for our son, and a big plate of fried beef. I want to see the scenes SHAWN!

  3. Lol. I always beg for pictures when anyone in my family travels land would get stuff like that one too. Why does no one understand how nice it is to share in others adventures through the photos they take?
    Hope you are doing ok, under the circumstances! xoxo

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Right?! I will never go to Japan in my lifetime Susi. I know I won’t. I’ve heard that it’s absolutely gorgeous. He sends me beer and a picture of a toilet.
      So far we are doing ok. Working out the kinks! We’ve been very busy. Lots of specialists appointments this week and hockey! xoxo

  4. I love the way you love him and vice versa.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      He’s a keeper

  5. My husband is in the Army so he can be gone quite often on short little trips (TDYs) or deployed for a year+. Despite the fact that him being away a lot is our ‘normal’, I am never 100% settled when he is gone. So I totally get it. I hope your hubby has a fantastic time in Japan…I’ve always wanted to go there!

  6. I love that even if he doesn’t GET the mental illness/pain you’re dealing with, he still knows that you’re suffering and will do what he can to help. That’s all someone really needs to do.

    I hope he starts sending you some more fun photos from Japan!!


  7. Hey girl,
    How long is Shawn away for? A week or something?
    I love being alone (I’m an only child) but I also feel such a void when jeff is away. We spent the first many years not spending more than a few hours apart from eachother; we were inseparable. Now when he goes away on weekends, I miss him but it makes me appreciate him more, I guess?, when he returns.

    I hope you’re occupying your time with coffee, Champ, your boys and warm, comfy clothes.

    Have in there babes. 🙂 xoxox

  8. Love that he supports you even when he doesn’t get what’s happening!

  9. It makes me very sad to see my toothbrush all alone when my husband travels. And it’s strange that it really doesn’t seem like he does much, but it’s so much harder when he’s not here.

    But Japan, wow! That’s got to be an awesome opportunity. Enjoy those pics! I have to say I know where Shawn is coming from with his photography . I’ll always take a picture of a unique toilet.

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