Absence Makes You Absent

Forgive me. I haven’t posted as much as I should to be taken seriously as a blogger as of late. Once Trump became president, I figured that gave me license to write a novel so I have been working on that instead.

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Now what has pressed on me about being a bride on base lately is the fact that I am so far from my family and most of the other people I love, in particular my mother. My mother was in a bad car accident in October and my husband and I had to go to her because the of the severity of the situation. It was stressful for obvious reasons, and its a shame that my vacation days and Spencer’s approval to leave had been two of them.

My mother’s best friend called me with a quiver in her voice to let me know my mom had been in a car accident and was in the hospital. Being 800 miles away I knew I had to be cool until I got bad news because either way there was going to be at least half a day, if not a whole day, before I could really act. That night though the stress got to me and I cried to my husband and asked if he could go back to Missouri with me. He started the process of getting permission, which I should not have been surprised to find out was a tedious process that included the Red Cross calling us at 3:30 am. We were finally able to head back at 4 am on Thursday even though the accident transpired on Tuesday.

Fortunately my brother was able to be there the next day since he lives 3 hours away from where my mom was. I hadn’t seen my brother in a year and a half; he lived in Portland last year. I felt a little guilty about not immediately buying plane tickets, but round trip for just me was about $900… I was concerned about my mom but I didn’t know that spending that amount of money and having to get rides everywhere when I made it to town was practical. This was a dilemma though, and I really had to check where my heart was. Ultimately Spencer coming took the plane option off the table.

Being with my mom at the hospital was tough because of the situation, but it was more difficult knowing that I would have to leave and not see her again until Christmas. I felt so guilty and helpless and I cried so much about that. The other issue I had was the fact that I had budgeted my vacation out so that I had just enough days to take off the week of Christmas. Because I was having to use some of those days, I was also worried about not getting to come home again. Seeing as how that visit wasn’t really a vacation, I was stressed about this prospect. Being a military family places enough limits on our lives; having my regular job be what keeps us from our family was just disheartening and more reason for me to figure out how to become an entrepreneur.

My mother was unable to come to visit for Thanksgiving like we had planned. My brother didn’t come so that he could be with her. This was my first Thanksgiving without any family, and we spent it with other family’less soldiers.

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I think about all the things I miss and resent it. I was finally invited to a wedding of one of my teammates from college and I had to be real and decide that we probably weren’t good enough friends to justify a $700 trip to Kansas City, OR a 15+ hour drive. And then there is the fact that I have only seen my best friends once since I have lived here. I am too far away and subsequent moves to other Airborne locations will likely just be farther. The prospect of living in Italy or Alaska is exciting, but I could still resent it.

I was on the waitlist for my Christmas vacation for 3 months and was finally granted the days right before Thanksgiving only to lose them because I didn’t have enough vacation days for the request because of our emergency trip. My manager told me he couldn’t override the waitlist I was now at the bottom of due to the length of the list at this time. I sat at my desk for a good five minutes deciding if it was appropriate to cry or not, Alas, he came through and said he got the days back. At this point I’m still not sure what I’m actually approved for, but I’m grateful someone finally tried to understand my plight being halfway across the country and help me out. Things would just be so much easier if we weren’t in the Army….

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