Most of the time I love, Love, LOVE, living on this island. There are a few small annoyances and inconveniences that get to me occasionally, but I really am enjoying myself. Because of the total awesomeness of Vonage, I really haven't felt all that far from home. I talk to my parents every day. Sometimes twice.
I won't get into the how or the why I knew something was coming, (thats a different post all together) but for days I've had this feeling of foreboding hanging over my head. I couldn't shake it off. There was no reason for me to be feeling the way I felt. My favorite holiday is almost upon us, my parents are coming out for a visit, and my husband is home to celebrate the season with me and the kids. What more could I ask for?
Then I got a phone call from home. One of my favorite people in the world, my uncle is ill. I mean VERY ill. He had a heart attack, and subsequently open heart surgery which included five bypasses, and the repairing of one valve. Things were going well. Until they weren't. He was stable after the surgery and then he just crashed. I don't know how many times he "died" before they were able to bring him back. . . by opening him back up and massaging his heart with their hands. . . the doctors said at this point it will take a miracle for him to live. ----- So all you believers, PRAY!!
To say I am heartbroken is a huge understatement. My uncle has always had a place in my heart. He was in the Navy. He cherishes and values his service, and anyone else who serves too. Then when my brother died, my uncle and I became pen pals of sorts. He is one who enjoys the tradition of the hand written letter. Over the years we've exchanged a few, including one shortly after my brother's passing. He asked me to never share the contents of that letter to anyone. And to this day, I never have. He had been prompted by the short duration of my brother's life and unexpected death, to reflect on his own life. I'm not sure why he chose me to be the one to hear it. Maybe he knew that I would still accept him without judgement, despite the mistakes he's made. Maybe he knew that I would always see the good. And after my daughter was born, he stood as her godfather at her baptism.
Now he lays in the hospital waiting for the inevitable to come. My mother is near hysterical. And here I am. Here I will most likely stay. Normally if we were in the states, all I'd have to do is hop on a plane and I could be there in just a few hours. Being here makes it much more complicated than that. I have the paperwork to get me on the flight list, but the chances of actually getting my kids and myself on a military transport plane this close to Christmas is very slim. Anytime other than the holidays and we'd be good. Nor do we have the money to pay $2,000+ per ticket for me and my two kids to get a commercial flight home. And the kids would have to come. There is nothing else I could do. So here I sit waiting for news. And waiting sucks. It kills me that I can't be there for my mom. She adores her brother. But my dad is there and thats going to have to be good enough. I'm probably not the first spouse out here to have faced this kind of thing. But that doesn't make me feel any better.
Today I can physically feel just how far away I am. I can feel the sadness and the worry across the thousands of miles. Even through the phone I am hyper aware if the measured distance between my loved ones and myself. I've never felt more isolated, more helpless, and more far away from home.