Monday, July 14, 2008
Okay Okay, I know I've been gone just a smidgen longer than planned. Things have been crazy on the (new!!) home front, what with getting settled in, and making an empty space comfy cozy. But this post isn't going to be about that. This post is going to be about something much more near and dear to my heart.
And I have to apologize. Usually my blog posts are full of pictures and clever going on's, but this one is a little less Mary Sunshine. The rainbows and kittens will be returning by my next post, I promise :)
...When we joined the military back in 2006, I honestly thought that we'd be stationed in Washington, and I wouldn't really be leaving my family. So when I said goodbye to everyone, there were no tears (for me at least), and no second thoughts. I hopped into my car with a smile on my oh-so-pregnant face, and drove across country to Texas, thinking it would be like a short vacation and I'd be back home in no time. Little did I know, I would go into labor just days before my husbands tech school graduation, making it impossible to travel. So how far can they send you with a month old baby? About 3 hours away, to a little craphole I like to call Dyess. And here we've been for the past 2 years.
I've gone home to visit my family and friends twice, the last of those times being in August of 2007. Its been nearly a year since I've seen the people I love the most? *insert pouty sigh here*. This is the longest I've been away from anyone, in my 24 years of existence. Only 1 person came to visit us in 2007, my bestest (of the best) friend Kalii. I thought for sure my parents would have, but... there were no knocks on our door. And I understand how its not cheap to fly, but when I hear of people taking vacations elsewhere, it just makes me feel even more homesick, and a little less important, ya know?
So then 2008 gets here. And I think, "well my dad got a fantastic Christmas bonus", and hope that maybe we'll have some surprise visitors! ... but blah. Nothing. Or, nobody, I should say. The year goes on, and in May I think that maybe for my birthday, I'll get the best present anyone could give me, and have to go pick someone up at the airport. By this time I'm going insane with loneliness, and am completely heartbroken when my birthday comes and goes without seeing the face of a well missed friend.
Fast forward to now. I hear my dad is taking a trip. "Oh really, hmmm, I wonder where he's going!", I say with sarcasm, because I just know hes finally coming out to see his daughter and granddaughter! As you can imagine, when I find out hes taking a motorcycle trip by himself to California, I'm absolutely devastated. But my personal feelings aside, I'm worried for him. I talked to him and told him I thought it was a bad idea. He didn't have the right bike, it was too far for him to ride alone, blah blah blah. He assured me he was still superman, and not to worry. A few nights before he left, both my husband and I had nightmares about my Dad getting hurt/dying. Weird right? And on the same night? I had to call him and tell him, knowing I wouldn't change his mind, I just couldn't leave it alone. He promised me that he would be fine.
When someone promises something like that, and then they turn out not to be fine, you can't help but be angry. I didn't get a phone call from my dad the first night. I immediately freaked out, and called my mom to check on his well being. She said that he had gotten to where he was going just fine. How dare he not call me! Well I got a call from him later that night, and every day after that. If I missed the call, he'd leave a voicemail. I could tell in the first voicemail I got, how much of a good time he was having, and that made me happy. Even though he wasn't having a good time on vacation visiting me, my jealousy was buried in the back of my head and I was glad to know that he was alright. The next voicemail I got from him was different. It was short and to the point. An"I got here, and I'm OK, love you, bye" type message. The tone of his voice was low, and he sounded angry? I thought maybe he had just run into some rain. I chose not to call him back that night, like I had with the previous voicemail. I figured if he was having a bad day, he didn't need me nagging at him.
The next day my phone rang, and the caller ID said it was my mom. I answered with a hello, but only heard crying on the other end. My heart sank, and I instantly assumed the worst. All I could say was "what happened? Why are you crying?". My mom went on to tell me about how the previous day, my Dad had layed down his bike, and was currently being taken into an emergency surgery. They didn't tell me sooner, because they didn't want to worry me? Something about being pregnant, and the stress was too much for me, and all that other bullshit that parents tell you try and protect you when really they're just pissing you off.
The above picture is of my Dad's helmet, that no doubt saved his life.
My first reaction was to be angry. He had promised me that he would be fine, and now he was laying on a table somewhere, cut open with stranger's hands inside of his stomach. After his surgery, he was moved to the ICU, where he layed for 2 1/2 days. I finally got the nerve to call him, and started crying as soon as I heard his voice. Thank god he was alive, but just the thought of losing him was enough to cause a tornado of hormones in my shaken heart. I didn't tell him how mad I was. I only told him how much I loved him, and asked how much he was hurting. I could hear in his voice how miserable he was. At one point he said "It wasn't my fault!", as if he was defending himself against the argument that he knew I was having with him in my head. I simply told him "I didn't call to yell at you, I just called because I miss you". When I hung up the phone I was a mess. Thinking about what if I never saw him again, what if he never got to meet the new baby, what if he never got to talk to Eleanore? I've got water in my eyes just thinking about it now. So the next time I talked to him, I put Eleanore on the phone, who just started having phone conversations about a week ago. She told him about how she had mashed potatoes for lunch, even though she didn't, and about how she watched Ariel, even though she hadn't. Those are usually the only things she says. But at the end she said "love you Papa" to him. I could hear in his voice, how happy that made him. Hes still in a California hospital, with occasional visitors from the family members that he rode down there to see. When the doctor says that hes well enough to come home (where he'll have a lot more recovering to do), he'll hop on a plane and leave his bike behind until a cousin can put it in the back of his truck and drive it up for him.
The past few days have just made me realize how important my friends and family are to me.