Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rebound

Long weeks, it seems, since last I came here...so much to do, so little time...

It is another night shift post, Sarge being off at the local - how does Ellison put it? - Red Sea Pedestrians' Purim event as security...they like him very much. He knows all the rabbinical staff by name and I, frankly, feel blessed that we can do anything to help the Jewish community.

I have been trying to avoid the worst of the news, to just keep trudging along against the rising tide. We all know where this is heading and the only thing cheerful is the vocal pressure against the 2A incursions. It gives one hope that perhaps it won't all slide off the cliff soundlessly.

My mind has been wrapped around a lot of things - losses - and I know, in my deepest heart, that my father will follow them all soon enough. I never have had enough time with him. Gone at 6 yrs, returning at 8 and then briefly at 16. And then the high holies every few years...He has survived longer than one ought on the gimpy heart he was born with.

 
Check out the lederhosen! He has always been a showboater...he was meant for the stage and I know that the large family cramped his flighty style. I've no idea how he was pinned down with ring and vows.

 
I am not certain how she did it...made it to the altar with a vagabond, and had him home often enough to have 5 children. She looks so vibrant in that photo...I never knew her in that way, being the next to last. I really only remember her when she was a bit younger than I am now. My hands are much like her own, then. The same motions as the lasagna noodles are caressed into place...the towels folded as she did - learned from her ages ago when she worked as a maid at a hotel. I never knew her to be happy, really. Tired, mostly. Desperate, often. The last to sit, the last to eat, the last to bed...only to be the first up to start it all over again.

Somehow, she managed it all with and without Dad. Not for so much better and for rather a lot worse. But for all the trials and travails, the dirty laundry and failures, they did always favor me...for whatever good it did. I know I was never the end result of their dreams and yet I managed to avoid their worst nightmares - though only barely.

The best, though, is that they both met Sarge, know the good man that he is, and that I am safe with him. It meant a lot to Mom, that assurance. She knew she was leaving, and wanted that promise for her heart's ease. And I know, truly, that she was at peace...the dream coming to me days later of her waving at me from the deck of a ship, myself in the wheelhouse looking down. She threw a leg over a railing, her pedal pusher pant leg showing a strong limb, the foot housed in her beloved Keds. She paused there, smiled and waved, looking much like she did when I was young but without the fear and exhaustion in her eyes. No, just sheer joy and revelry as she tossed herself off to the deck below and away forever. You can tell me that it was just a dream but I know better. It was her farewell, and her promise to me - I am well, no need to worry.

I wonder if I shall receive a similar message soon.

I know there is more loss to come and a part of me aches to make up the days with him. But there can be no replacing what is gone. You cannot tame a wild thing because it will no longer have that spark that made you love it. The old game of catch and release will have to continue to the end, and even then he will have the final word, the leaving without a look back.

Perhaps I need a trip to the beach...or him a last hurrah in his 2nd favorite place...a gathering of the tales before they are all lost. He is the only one left who knows them...there was so much I'd always meant to ask her...

Oh, to slow the world just a bit so that I could catch up...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Another Set of Wings

It was with some pride (and some sadness) that I watched my stepdaughter take her final oath on the parade ground of Lackland AFB (JBSA, now). She was a flight leader, taking charge of a bunch of girls, and leading them to amazing records on BEAST week. And then...following them as they all marched around the field, last in the flight like a mother duck pushing her ducklings along.


The event also brought Sarge to thoughts of returning, himself...his prior role as Loadmaster, perhaps. Maybe Security Forces. So he has returned to his conditioning regimen, having been prevented from much exercise post-op until now. And I, as always, am on the ground, waiting, as everyone else takes to the sky. "They also serve who only stand and wait", eh? Yes, I suppose.

The entire event was tainted, though, with the revelation of a terrible lie - a falsehood hidden for a year that angers us deeply. It was a blow, hearing the words uttered casually and by accident. We strove to continue through the day's events and the next day's graduation with as much grace as we could summon. But having to break bread with the lie sitting at table...it was very hard, indeed. I wept as we walked the line of static display - so angry and having no way to thrust it at the target. Furious as I have not been in a very long time...there was only one thing that slowed that thundering heartbeat.


I wish I could have climbed in and left it all behind - the anger, the sadness, the disappointment...but I was grounded. Wings clipped and left tethered to it all...I tell myself that it will all resolve in time. That surely she will see the error...understand that our prior words of warning were accurate. But the fact is that it is her life to live - we can choose to support her and not the lie. And so we have...

And now, off to Ft. Lee for 6-8 wks for additional training. She scored high enough for any job, really, but she wanted rank ASAP which means fast tracking. However, she may find some better way - or all those stripes that watched her so closely over the last few months may seek her out for other things. She is a natural leader - not as common in women, truthfully. I suspect she will be valued by many...