Home Alone ( Redacted from a Letter to an Old Friend)
Your earlier musing about having more time to yourself when your boys grow up and leave home reminded me of when my wife left me and subsequently moved back East from Indiana.
I still was in Indiana, but awarded liberal visiting rights (I would drive back East at least once a month, driving all day Friday and all day Sunday in order to spend a Saturday with my children), which also included them spending 6 weeks each Summer with me.
They were about 7 and 4 when (my ex-wife) moved back East (to escape her 2nd husband, who was abusive), and I was just diagnosed with what they thought was terminal cancer.
All my friends said it would be impossible for me to be a full time single father (even for only a 6 week stretch each Summer), and, frankly, so did I, but I couldn't give up without trying it.
Those Summers passed so quickly, and it never failed to break my heart to say goodbye to them when I would take them back to my ex-wife.
I don't think there was one time, even on my weekend visits, that I didn't return home in a blur of tears.
I also had the right to have them in my home every other Christmas, but, after doing that the first Christmas, it just was too hard on my ex-wife (even though she didn't complain, not even once), and so I told her that I'd just come back East and spend time with my children each year after they had already had their Christmas with her.
And so it went until 1989, when I finally was able to move back to this area.
By then, David was 15 and Sarah was 12.
And now, they're both grown, and ....