I track the time by things Russ has missed. "Russ has been gone since before we went to see Paul Stanley in Portland in May." "Russ has been gone since our anniversary in June." "Russ has been gone since we got the truck graphics finished in July." Those events feel like a million years ago to me and he's been gone the whole time.
There's going to be inside jokes he won't get and will feel left out. He's going to feel like the world has kept turning without him; movies have been released, video games have come out, new restaurants have opened, buildings have been built, and concerts have came and went while he's been out there in the ocean drifting. He hasn't driven for six months, pop culture has moved on, and news has happened.
I can't imagine having that feeling- like being an alien in your own home.
I've grown and changed, he's grown and changed and we'll come back together and we'll both be a little different. We've both had experiences apart but I really look forward to getting to talk about them and share them with each other.
We've still got a little way to go but this deployment is now about 85% over, finally. We've gotten to the point where I can no longer send him care packages because they won't be in port much to even receive mail so that means time is counting down!