CONTRIBUTED BY MEREDITH NOVARIO
At five o’clock this morning my father called and woke us up. Typically and unfortunately, that’s when the boys usually get up. I despise five o’clock in the morning something fierce. And since it was my dad that woke us up and not the boys I got perturbed. He’s an adult and can take my wrath. As if he didn’t get enough of it when I was a teenager. In any case, I woke up with a furrowed brow and a stomp in my step. It was not just because he wrenched me from sleep but also because of the message he left.
This is probably not a convenient time for you … I heard you won’t be coming home. I’m hopeful that that’s not true, of course. But certainly would benefit from more detail.
That is a direct quote. I just this very now transcribed it off of my answering machine. My father actually talks like that. As if he’s always fireside at dusk with L.L. Bean slippers, Dewar’s on the rocks with a twist and the Wall Street Journal. That dad of mine is a great man. If you ask him how he’s doing the answer will be a synonym of great. And he means it. It is useless to be upset with a person in a constant state of great-ness.
Plus it wasn’t about the time of day that he called so much as the message and the message was only upsetting because it might be true. Our orders to D.C. are not going to pan out quite like we thought. The jobs that Joe asked for are now taken so his monitor wanted him to consider a year-long unaccompanied tour to Bahrain. A tour that his monitor referred to as a “sweet” deal. Sweet, indeed!
Last week you all generously weighed in with wit and wisdom about whether I should stay through the next deployment or go forth to D.C. and plant roots ahead of Joe. I was touched by your willingness to give me counsel while I sobbed on your shoulder. And all for naught! I’m not going anywhere. Or I’m not going anywhere that I know of anytime soon. I know that you know how I feel and that is why I love you. Also, I love my father. I shouldn’t have gotten mad at him but it was just easier than getting mad at the massive unknown that is our life right now.
And now for a confession in hopes that I am not the only one.
While I’m excited to go back home and be near family, I’m also scared. I want more than anything to be a part of my family again. I want the boys to know their family like they know their friends here. I’m ready to be available in the flesh for weekends and birthdays and weddings and baby showers and holidays. Yet it also feels something like an impending tidal wave of attention and commitment awaits us. I’m scared to disappoint or offend anyone and everyone. Here with an ocean between us I can present a rosier version of Meredith. As far as they know I have perfect skin and a great sense of fashion. And no one expects me to drop by for lunch or remember their birthday. Or if they do I don’t hear about it. We live happily on the periphery and while I want to be a part of the team, I’m scared I won’t live up to whatever expectations there are of me.
Not a real sexy confession, but true.
There you have it.
Stay tuned for more tales from limbo next week.
For posterity’s sake we have left this universally euphoric, terrified, confused, “what am I doing?!” series on Okinawa Hai. However, we have closed comments for future readers. If there is relevant information for all readers to benefit from, we have taken elements from this series and created new posts, which we’ve linked to from the original text. Thank you for joining us on this ride.