Not too long ago, I had a strange day. As you see from this post earlier this week, Brenda had to leave our humble home for the better part of two days, as part of taping the BMN Superfan reality show. The winner of that show gets to spend a week with us later this year. Furthermore, she was part of a contest in which the winner's idea will be incorporated into the summer block party in which we invite dozens of extended family members. This year's party will honor Brenda, who has loved fairs, carnivals, and circuses since she was a little girl.
Although I understand the reason for her absence, it did not make it any easier. Other than God, no one person or thing has been more important in my life than Brenda, and everyone who knows even a little about me knows that. For the first few minutes after she left, I felt lost without her.
With Brenda gone, I threw myself more into my work. In the morning, I made sure to do the beekeeping, since she asks me to do it at least every other day. After I took Bryson to school, and then returned home, I helped Bobby Ray feed and groom animals. In the afternoon, I participated in one of my fall hunting trips (this was when the show was taped) with Ralph, Harvey, and Hambone. Yes, this has traditionally only been for male family members, but ever since Hambone won the skeet-shooting challenge, she has been invited to join us whenever she wants. That night, I made sure to spend time with Brandy and Bunky, so we can share stories about not being with our parents. Some perspective is in order here: unlike me, Brandy and Bunky can only see their parents at best only a few times a year. Besides, if Lauren has moved to Italy as has been rumored, they may never see her again (due to the absence of air travel from our world to theirs). That's like a polecat on the side of the road: It stinks really bad.
When she came back, I made sure to hug her tightly. Again, I knew that Brenda was going to return safely from the reality show, but the absence still pulled on my heart and I had to make sure that she was able to survive. I told her everything I did without her, and she smiled.