As readers of this blog know, I have been traveling a lot for my job this year. North Carolina, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, and coming up later this year — Guam, and California again — obviously, I have no hesitation or problem jumping on a plane for long flights.
So my heart sunk when I received a message from a guy in Berlin that read…
You are right, BHD: Life is short – you should soon come to Berlin and see me! I promise you some wonderful days.
Man, I’d love to see Berlin, especially now since the city has significantly changed after the reunification of Germany. Last time (only time) I was in Berlin was in 1978, and it was a much different time. Very dark, dismal, grey, and difficult.
However, any trip like that would be for personal reasons. My employer would not send me to Berlin — or anywhere outside the extended United States. My job relates only to domestic U.S. matters.
Since my spouse’s disability has been made much worse from residual effects of his long-term illness, he cannot walk without assistance, and is in so much pain, he cannot be seated comfortably in any type of seat on an airplane, train, bus, motorcycle, or car. When I have to take him somewhere, it hurts me to watch how painful it is for him to endure the trip. So far, we cannot find any medication or treatment to ease the extreme discomfort.
And I will not travel to a distant location for fun without my spouse. He and I once traveled a lot together — throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. He knows what joy one can have traveling. He knows the adventure, sights, sounds, and marvels of distant (or even not-so-distant) lands can be amazing.
So it is even more difficult, then, to consider a trip for fun, knowing that he cannot go and how he would feel about it. He is angry about his disability preventing him from living a normal life and enjoying himself the way that he once did.
I cannot consider traveling without him because it would hurt me even to think about how badly my spouse would feel. No way. I love him with all of my heart. I never would hurt him that way by leaving him alone at home while I go tooting off to have fun somewhere else (especially in the company of another guy…).
I sincerely appreciate the offer of hospitality from friends and acquaintances around the world, but until my spouse has medical interventions that work and resolve his pain, then I limit my “fun travel” to the seat of my Harley and where we can go locally on day trips.
Life is short: show those you love how you love them. It’s what a close marriage is all about.