I hate being separated from my children. There’s really no other way to say it. Not only do I miss everything about them and also my normal ability to be with them at a moment’s notice, but I especially despise the way the vividness of who they are tends to fade away a bit each day the separation prolongs.
But whenever we must separate for any significant period of time, the days just prior to that separation are especially unpleasant because I experience such mixed emotions every time I see them. On the one hand, I love seeing their smiles and receiving their hugs and watching their antics. But the very things I find most dear about them remind me that I will soon be missing precisely such moments. And so the stimulus to joy is equally a prompt for sorrow.
The realization that this is happening, of course, only makes matters worse because the whole point of those final few days is to stock up on the happiness and not have it ruined by thinking too much of the coming deprivation. But alas, understanding a thing is not the same as conquering it.