Archive for the ‘Separation’ Category

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It’s 2020…

August 30, 2020

Looks like I haven’t written anything since May 2019. Or was it 2018? The Chief even asked me if he should/could delete the shortcut to my blog. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say…I’ve got plenty…the muse and purpose just wasn’t there. The Chief and I are still working out–after 27 years together (Aug. 5, 1993 was our second date and beginning of our relationship)–how we communicate with each other. And while these are my thoughts, my musings, how they are presented and received is a fine dance. If he had his way, I’d write and communicate like him–because that’s what he understands. Well, I’m not him. As our daughters find their voices as young adults, I’ve reflected on that dance. I’ll let him lead (sometimes! 🙂 ) but we’re writing the music together and I’m penning the words. (Funny thing is, he used to be the one to write poetry. Maybe he needs to get back to that…) And BTW, there is definitely an “engineer voice” as T1 is developing it and sounding just like her father, only with a lot of young adult female drama…it’s so confusing!

I took him to the airport this morning. He’s been sailing with the company officially 29 years in January. We should be planning for his retirement in 2022…but he thinks he’ll sail at least until June 2024 when T2 graduates. Who knows, though. His credentials expire in November. He sent in his documents for renewal so crossing our fingers that everything gets renewed.

The house is empty. Except for 4 large dogs! That’s right, we have three greyhounds and a borzoi now! Artemis, fka Sofie Bazzie, joined our family in March of this year–I call her my COVID crazy baby. She’s an alpha so she and Simi-Ruthie, the demon borzoi, have had to work things out. Artie’s youth (just turned 4 on August 5th) has not allowed her to successfully challenge the old lady who will be 12 in November. Hedwig will also be 12 in December and Bailey Boy will be 7 in November. So not really an empty nest.

T1 is starting her third year. She had just gotten back to campus for third quarter when the pandemic started. Most college student were mid-semester but being on a quarter system changes things. While other college students just had their spring break extended and the semester ultimately turned virtual, T1’s classes were just starting. We didn’t know whether to make her come home once the dorms had closed or to agree for her to stay in-state at the home of her boyfriend’s family. I kept asking, “Are you two adequately supervised? Are you giving them money for food? Are you outlasting your welcome?” She stayed until the end of May. It was hard but it was the right choice–too many changes would have been too hard on her. Virtual was difficult with her hearing loss though they made every effort to close-caption all her meetings. Her school is in-person and starts after Labor Day. We’re hopeful. There was just no way to keep up a virtual environment for engineering classes. I don’t know about you but I don’t have a massive distillation lab in my garage.

T2 graduated. Or walked across a stage, smiled for her three guests (me, my best friend, and her best friend), and couldn’t wait for it to be over. Because our district chose not to “grade” the final semester, if she hadn’t had 4 AP tests to prepare for she never would have attended any virtual classes. The Chief had left for sea on March 3rd in the hopes of being home for her CGS and regular school graduations. Instead he was at sea for 101 days and nights. I messed up the video conference and he never saw her regular graduation. Thankfully once our state moved into Phase 2 her CGS graduation, such as it was, was held and he was home for that. We even had family overs for a socially distanced celebration. Three months with just me and her… and four dogs. I’m not sure I ever imaged that. I will cherish the time.

T2 is at university now. She had her early decision acceptance last summer, months before any of her friends, so senioritis was BAD! She just wanted to start this new experience. I’m happy to say she’s had a week of classes and seems to be doing well. I plan on driving down to take her to dinner on her 18th birthday. I can’t not be with her on that day. If I think old lady Heddie can make the trip I will bring her with me.

And I am back at work. It’s been stressful because everything was left unfinished. There were too many unanswered questions. I watched 14 out of 16 hours of the school board meeting, seeing the best and worst of our community members and elected officials, where they ultimately voted to begin the year 100% virtual instead of hybrid. Really, the decision was between a rock and a hard place. My biggest take away from starting up was the stress of information loss. One usually hears about information loss in students over the summer–how the first weeks of school is spent relearning what has been lost, even after sending home take home packets and suggested summer activities. If I as an adult can’t remember quickly the processes I did every day for 6 months, how much will the children have forgotten? We’ve had 2 weeks of teacher training, one week of online orientation with students, and one week of online classes. I’m not as stressed.

Empty nest… typically a time when career military marriages fall apart. The Chief and I have really worked hard. And I have to say, I have enjoyed the past month–a week in Florida with him when he took his re-certification classes, and these weeks after the girls went to school. I cleaned up my desk during quarantine and found about 20 unused restaurant gift certificates! Let’s just say we used as many of them as we could! There was an intimacy that I think we both we looking forward to–an emotional intimacy that said, “we earned this, we did this, our job, and now it’s just us.” Sappy, I know. #goals LOL

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Our Life

February 7, 2019

Image may contain: one or more people, water and outdoor

The Chief is STILL sailing. T1 is already has enough credits to be a Sophomore during her first year at college, living 12 hours away from us and studying Chemical Engineering, minoring in Business and Music. She joined Pep Band and was appointed junior conductor. She’s on her second roommate (don’t ask). Joined a sorority. Made Dean’s List for the first quarter. And is currently joining the ChemE fraternity. Whew.

T2 just scheduled all her senior classes–5 of which will be AP level. We’re hoping she has enough AP credit to start college a sophomore and can skip all her gen-ed requirements. We’re waiting for the college of her choice to announce summer early decision days and we could actually know exactly where she’s going before her last year of high school even starts.

I finally have my current dream job–library para-educator. Unfortunately, my boss said she wanted one thing–independent, self-motivated, competent, strong, creative, co-teacher that she didn’t have to micromanage but what she really wanted was someone who would only do what she specifically told them to do. I’ve edited this sentence because I am trying to practice … I don’t know what I’m trying to practice. I just have to grin and bear it. I love the work. I love most of the students. I don’t have to test any more. And I have a sneaking suspicion she won’t be returning.

Merchant Seaman Tee-Shirts and Hoodies posted the above comic. The Chief FINALLY join the evil FaceBook to keep in touch with his woodworking forums. Every now and then I see some of his activity. His comments to this comic brought tears to MY eyes.

My used to say she sees me more even though I am gone half of the year than if I were stuck commuting to an office every day.

The ability to communicate has gotten easier over the last 30 years, but nothing takes the pace of just being there(.)

Another mariner responded: Especially when you’ve got kids. Takes a strong-willed woman.

Very true. And my bride has done a great job raising 2 more strong willed, self-reliant women.

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Describe a Moment of Change

June 7, 2017

And how you dealt with it.

Or at least I hope that is what the question was. Now that I think back, I hope it didn’t read a Moment of Challenge. But I think my answer might still apply.

I had my first of what I hope will be two interviews for a 12-month position at the school board. This was one of the questions.

My answer?

A chuckle. Then I answered, “I go through great change every 75 days!”

I spoke about how the girls and I work as a unit, stronger together. I spoke about some times getting only 12 hours notice. About putting myself aside to help my daughters adjust to life without the Chief. For 21 years. I talked about how we as a family have discussed the ramifications of what a 12-month job would mean for us, especially while the Chief was at sea.

You have to have routine but you have the be flexible enough for the changes that pop up. Or challenges.

Next up I hope to be one of two candidates called in on Friday for a follow-up interview with the Big Man. A decision will then be made either late Friday or on Monday before the School Board Meeting. Sigh. I hate waiting. Good thing T1 is getting her wisdom teeth out and I have that and house cleaning to occupy my time.

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10,000 Reasons

November 9, 2015

Bless the Lord O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

Read more: Matt Redman – 10,000 Reasons Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Sammie gave me permission so here goes.

I’m going to look over here so I don’t look at my daughters.

OK, kids, I know you think these teen events and summer camp are all about you and what you get out of it, but I know what God has done for me at these events. If you’ve been at camp W over the years and you’ve been in my class you’ve heard the story of my tough relationship with my father. Just to summarize, it was bad. And one day at camp I had a talk with God and I said, “I’m done. I’m laying it all at your feet.” You see I had spent 10 years resisting Him–to the point that I developed a chronic illness. And God answered and I got to hear my father say the words I never thought he’d say. “I was wrong and I am sorry.” I can’t begin to describe what that was like! I still get goose bumps. That IS the peace the passes understanding. A burden lifted. God restored me to Him, restored me to my father. My relationship with my father is so much better. He even insisted on being the one to take care of me this summer when I had back surgery and my husband was at sea. If you want the long version of the story just ask T1 or Tess or anyone who was at camp. I made three out of five classes cry–I don’t know if that was some kind of record but it was intense.

So what does this have to do with this weekend? I didn’t want to come. You see, when your husband is at sea and you see an opportunity to send your children away you really want to jump at the chance to do that and to sleep in! I was very tired but at 2 PM I got an email with last minute housing instructions for this weekend. And I saw the email address of someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. I was excited to see him and I thought, “ok, I’ll go even if I’m tired.”

Last night was great. Got to see my Brother, the singing was great, my daughters were enjoying themselves. Not too bad. Sammie asked us to think about why we are here this weekend. Well I found out this morning.

I got a call from my mother. My father has cancer.

You know the first thing I wanted was to hear my husband’s voice telling me it was going to be ok. While we were driving over here and I was trying to figure out how to tell my daughters their grandfather was sick, a text message came through. Just a simple, “Love you.” Let me tell you that after almost 20 years of marriage there have been too many times to deny that God has made sure my husband knew by the Holy Spirit when I needed to hear from him!

One of the first people I saw this morning was my Brother. He asked me how I was doing and I said, “Not good. My dad has cancer.” And he was like “Wow.” And he stopped and we talked and before we came in here he said, “Let’s pray.” If you have never had Brother A pray with you, you are missing out! When we were in youth group together, he was the cement of our group. I even texted my mom, “A prayed for us!”

And then the singing. Oh, the singing! I may have been standing there with tears streaming down my face, but they were tears of faith. Every song was about declaring the mighty power of God. I even took a picture of the screen “Our God is a God who Saves”. He is! And while I hope and pray for physical saving, I know even greater is the spiritual healing. He’s got this. I will follow Him.

I am here this weekend because God did not want me home crying alone. He wanted me here among all of you beautiful teens, with our youth volunteers, with my daughters who are surrounded by their friends. Singing songs of praise and worship.

So I am asking you to pray for my father and his surgery on Nov. 18th.

Sammie and Brother A came down the aisle toward me. “Oh Sammie, no!” “You said, pray. What did you think we were going to do?” A Sister who I hadn’t seen in years ran up and joined our circle for the prayer. God is so good.

And God continues to work: the girls and I were on our way home from the event. I was trying to figure when we could see my father…I offered the choice of swinging by that very day or trying to arrange to go the next week. My girls said stop now. It was the right decision. (Though going up next Sunday is still not off the table…)

Last night I got a FB private message from, again, friends we hadn’t seen in a while. He asked me what was my secret to not changing in 17 years and that he was going to tease my BIL about his NY Giants. And then he asked how was my family. I replied, “God must have been working on your heart. My father has cancer.” His response was, “Wow, I was thinking and praying for your family and I decided to reach out to you!” I think I will call this and all these experiences a “God work”, kind of a sighting/example of how God is actively working.

I really want the Chief home so badly but I have trust and faith in God. I am scared but God has this. My dad is ready to fight. It seems so different from my mother’s breast cancer. Her’s was caught so early–praise God. There is a chance he’s had this for over 3 years. So in the moments when the tears are too great, I let my soul sing like never before.

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