Monday, October 22, 2012

The One Word to Ruin It All

After a phone conversation, Jobi told me, "I talked to [whoever was on the phone] about Special Forces."

Special Forces. The green beret. The best of the best the military has to offer. It's been Jobi's dream to be in this "elite" group since he first made the connection between it and Rambo. And this year, I've decided to support him in this "dream." Allowing him to buy books, and watch documentaries, and call offices, and work out, and schedule and budget and all that jazz. And through all this "support," I've never told him how I feel about the idea.

"What did the guy say about it," I inquired.

"He said," Jobi replied, "that if I join SF, I might as well sign a divorce."

Oh boy.

"And what do you think about that," I asked him.

He shrugged, "He has a point."

He has a point? Just a point? I said nothing.

Jobi saw my silence. "You have a thought?" His voice was sharp.

I took a deep breath. "Yeah, I have a thought. I think he's right."

He raised his eyebrows. "You think he's right? Like that we should get divorced?!"

"Well," I hesitated. He's not going to like this. "We aren't strong enough for SF."

"Not strong enough?" he retorted.

I continued. "I'm not strong enough for you to be in SF. You would leave at an unknown time, for an unknown period of time, to an unknown location, doing unknown things. All that unknown would be... too much. I can't handle not knowing. At least when you could come home."

Jobi began, but then exhaled and stayed silent.

I wasn't finished. "The only times you have left us was for training. You've never been on any assignment. And yet when you come home you have a hard time being back. You can't stand to be around the kids, around home, around me. Imagine what that would be like if you actually got deployed. To a combat zone. It would be a thousand times harder! We may not make it through that. Special Forces... We are just not strong enough."

Jobi said nothing, only continued playing. But his shoulders slowly slumped. And his eyes drooped. And his mouth made a slight hint of a frown. Sadness crept into his entire form, and I felt bad. I am his wife. I'm supposed to love him and support him, through thick and thin, for better or for worse. And I'm never supposed to say the "D" word! How could I do that to him? Put him through a terrible scenario of the kids never loving their father again, or our marriage shattered to dust. I shouldn't have been the one to give him those thoughts, those images. What a horrible wife I am to tell him our marriage and our family isn't strong. I wanted to take everything I said back, give him a big hug and reassure him that his wife and kids are still here, that we love him, that he is the awesomest, most bestest husband and dad ever...

But something about his sadness was off.

"Are you..." I looked at him more closely, "bummed?"

He sighed and frowned. "Maybe. I don't wanna talk about it."

No, he wasn't sad about the thought of losing his family... he was sad that his wife told him he can't be Rambo.

 Needless to say, he was bummed out for the rest of the day. And my guilt for being a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad wife?
I'm over it.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Are You Prepared?

My sister had a dream the other night.

In this dream she was home with her four kids while her husband was away at work. A neighbor friend was visiting from across the street. But it was dark inside, and it was dark outside. And it had been months since they left the house.

Something happened and the whole area was stuck. Phones, electricity, gas, internet were all down. Sewage was backed up. Water was contaminated. Air was so thick with pollution that no one could leave their homes. Her husband couldn't get home. Her neighbor (who was visiting from across the street) couldn't get home. She couldn't contact anyone outside of the house, so she didn't know how anyone else was doing, or if they were even still alive. And she had no batteries for her flashlights, and diapers and wipes for her babies.

She woke up and called me right away. I don't know why she called me first -- maybe I was the first one to answer. But she told me, and I quote: "It is time to start taking emergency preparedness seriously." Now I know that her dream is not vision or revelation, but that doesn't mean it's meaningless. Dreams are pretty important in our family, and I have no doubt in my mind that her dream could be a very real possibility. Or at least give us some perspective.

Of all aspects of emergency preparedness, she wanted to make sure she mentioned two things:

1. Don't forget the necessities.
Out of all 11 of us siblings, I'd wager my last dollar that this particular sister of mine (since I have so many, I'll call her Lana) is the most prepared for emergencies in our family. I know they have life insurances, wills and trusts, emergency contacts, and food storage. And she has her older kids (4 and 6 years old, I think) memorize a lot of this information. But the fact that she couldn't produce any light because she forgot to store batteries for her flashlights surprised her. In reality, she said, she indeed did not have a storage of batteries or diapers and wipes or a can opener, and her dream proved that she needed to re-evaluate her inventory.

2. Communicate your plan.
The part of Lana's dream that scared me the most was that she didn't know where her husband was or how he was doing. I would be in a massive panic if I couldn't reach my husband or children in times of crises. (It's official: I'm not sending my kids to Kamehameha unless they're in high school.) And we all can't take HAM radios with us everywhere we go. But at least knowing that each family member has a plan in case of an emergency -- a meetingplace, an evactuation plan, a storage/emergency supply, even people to contact -- will be 1,000x more helpful on my nerves. Lana wanted to make sure we all had an out-of-state contact so that everyone in our family who is not affected by our disaster will know how we are doing, and will keep the other families in the loop.

I'm posting this more for my reference than for anyone else's, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to share. Life is uncertain, and the world is clearly getting worse, so it's best to be prepared for whatever strikes. So for the rest of this year I am adding emergency preparedness and food storage onto my list of resolutions, and I hope that you would consider doing the same. Even if you have enough to only last you for a day... that is one more day prepared than you were before.

I wish I had wonderful links to add to this post about emergency preparedness, but alas, I was not prepared. :-P But I know and have great resources, and of course the addicting pinterest has as well. Be prepared. Good luck.

The end.