Please come home…


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Image from our 2000 spring vacation.

By 2000 we had moved back to Indiana and we had transitioned from me primarily being at home to me traveling. Starting in 1999 and lasting until 2011 (when we moved east) I traveled at least 20 weeks of the year or more. We stopped paying for vacations (the points and mileage paid for the vacations) but I was gone a lot of the time. Barb was no longer working outside the house but she picked up a lot of my responsibilities around the house. It was a really hard transition. On September 11, 2001 I hopped on an airplane at 6 am bound for Chicago. I got off the plane at 7 am central time and went to the car rental place. My old boss was also on the plane so he hitched a ride with me to downtown Chicago. Along the way in we heard the news of the 9/11 attack in New York City. In all the years I traveled, all the places I was and would be, I can remember the sound of Barb’s voice that day. I talked to her when I landed (right before the attack) and then she called me again after turning on the TV. She just said “please come home.” So I did (driving the entire Indianapolis Microsoft crew that was in Chicago home with me in the Rental car). That day changed travel forever. I have in the 10 years before that day and the 15 years after that day never heard that terror, that fear in Barb’s voice. Many bad things have happened since that event both to us (we lost both of Barb’s parents, we lost my father, bad things have happened in the world) but that day day and that voice stays with me. I will never forget “please come home.”

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Spring vacation 2000, just wondering if in fact you were crazy.

We found a new church shortly after 9/11 Barb threw herself into being a huge part of the church for the next 10 years (until we moved to Maryland). She helped design all the materials used for the marketing of the new Church building campaign. She served on the Vestry and was the Senior Warden. Barb is someone with a lot of skills. When she gets involved in something she throws veering she has at it. The church welcomed that, it was  a small southern Indiana church and it needed all the help it could get. Barb was the answer for a few years. It is one of the things about her that is amazing. She has a dedication to what she is doing, to get it done right. That ability allows her to focus on the success at hand. Sometimes she forgets how amazing that is, and looks around wistfully at what she may have missed. As her partner sometimes I just have to give her a hug and say “you didn’t miss anything.” She really doesn’t miss it, she is there. She just forgets sometimes, maybe she just likes hugs.

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