I'm sitting here with my display table at a community "expo" event...while someone I love is at the opposite end of the state, having surgery even as I type.
It's an incredibly surreal and frustrating feeling; and more so because I can't talk to anyone at work about it, the way that people talk freely about their spouses.
This morning one of my coworkers came in late, explaining that her husband had been admitted to the hospital. I said, "You must have a lot on your mind right now," and mentioned that I had a friend in the hospital today as well. And that's it.
That's how it is here. That's what it's like not to be able to talk about important things in your life, because you're afraid, and to not have your life partnership recognized as real, and thus worthy of the benefits given to other couples. The "stop whining" people just don't get this; how hard it is.
My pastor has been a Godsend. He's actually at the downstate VA hospital now; he arranged his schedule to be there when Fellow Traveler arrived, so she'd be able to be with someone she knew before surgery. FT spent the night with her sister, in a halfway city; but her sister had to work today, too, so she had to leave her at the VA busstop at another VA hospital. I felt terrible about all of this; but we had no time to adjust schedules and get family members here.
So, anyway, I'm sitting here tapping into the free wi-fi, being the good PR do-bee, waiting for a phone call.