I have often thought that there should be a song written for the lovers, who stay behind, of peacemakers who go away for periods of time. There are many written for the loves of soldiers who go off to war, but I have never heard one for peacemakers. A song-writer friend of mine says that it is on his idea list, but he has a long list!! (Any songwriters out there among my readers?)
When people ask me this question I never really know from what angle they are asking. Are they questioning our sanity, fidelity,or his ability to cook for himself? Or are they just not able to picture that he can have a life without me? Afer all, he still continues to work at the Mennonite Church Canada offices from 8 am to 6 pm (including the commute) for 5 days in the week.
While I am in Iraqi Kurdistan we Skype every 2-3 days over his lunch hour (we have a 8-9 hours time difference). I can't imagine having this seperation without Skype, although I have heard of long distance relationships back in the "olden days" based on snail mail letters and a twice monthly phone calls.
When he comes home from work he cooks supper and then often relaxes in front of a movie. When I had my first stint in 2011 he set a goal of writing a lot of movie reviews for movies that he owns and had never watched. He loves writing movie reviews for his blog (www.thiessenbros.blogspot.com) as well as for an internet site and the Mennonite Church Canada magazine.
One of the reasons that we live in Winnipeg is to be closer to his mother and two elderly aunts. So Vic frequently goes to visit them (and they love to feed him too). Our youngest daughter, Katrina and her husband live in the city so he spend time with them too.
Other things that keep him busy are building big jigsaw puzzles, right now it is a 6,000 peice one. And he has many books in our personal library that he wants to read in the next 30 years. And this does not include visits with friends, our small group from Hope Mennonite, other church activities etc.
These are SOME of the things that "Vic does while I am away". It is hard to part and say goodbye, knowing that it will be 3+ months before we can physically touch. But I don't think that he pines away ("My bonny lies over the ocean, My bonny lies over the sea, My bonny lies over the ocean, Oh bring back my bonny to me [to my Kurdish readers, this is an old folk song. A bonny is another word for loved one].
I am so privileged to have a husband who is very supportive of me and the work that I do in Iraqi Kurdistan. He is amazing.
Vic and I on our wedding day, 4 August, 1979