Monday, May 24, 2010

A Bittersweet Ending to a Near Perfect Distraction

There's not too many constant things in your life when you are a military wife. The locations change, friends change, houses and schools change. You find yourself somehow evolving whether you wish to or not.

One of my constants for the last five years, shallow as it sounds, is the television show Lost. I'm a die-hard Lost fan, something I am still surprised to hear myself admit even after having seen every episode. I'm not your typical sci-fi or mythological junkie. Never could get into C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia," among other things (LOTR, The X-Files).

Instead, I connected to each other characters and their back stories and/ or desire to find redemption on that mysterious island. I buckled up for the second season and enjoyed the thrill of the ride through the revelation of the DHARMA initiative, the Others, and ultimately the reveal in Season 6 that the island held the light that symbolized life, death and rebirth.

I can honestly say after watching the series finale yesterday I feel a satisfied sense of closure. As one reviewer put it so simply,"I would rather have closure then answers." I believe that's what the writers set out to accomplish.

My thoughts on the heart of the island: Life, Death and Rebirth
In the second to last episode titled "Across the Sea" Mother describes the light coming from the heart of island as life, death and rebirth. I found this to be very accurate to what each Lostie found on the island. Some, like, Shannon, Boone, Eko and Ana Lucia found death.

Few witnessed new life, Claudia, Danielle and Claire among the very few. I believe that is because the island wasn't primarily meant to be a place where new life could be given, and that is why so many pregnant women were unable to carry to full term on the island. For the few that did give life on the island, it was part of their own personal redemption.

If you think about it, redemption brings upon a kind of rebirth. This is what the majority of our beloved Oceanic 815 survivors found. Redemption before they faced their death. It was the final plot line for our leader Jack. He found redemption through his sacrifice to the island, by letting go and clinging to his new found faith.

For this reason, I felt satisfied with the ending where Jack finally reconnected to his fellow friends at the end of his life. All that being said, I admit I was a tad bit disappointed when I found out the alternate timeline was merely a creation of their imagination. Because there was a lot of redemption and joy there too. Although I knew there would be even greater things to follow in the light. I like to imagine they have all gone back to the island. The island is now free of malevolence and corruption. Now it is a place where they can truly be who they were meant to be.

That's where I am less then 24 hours after the finale. I plan on watching it many more times, because I'm sure there is more to process and to learn from this great television show. I will miss it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Beginning of the End

In a couple of days, we begin the end of our pre-deployment period.

I'm happy and sad. Scared and not scared. There's so much to process. I'm worried about my children. The advice I was given was powerful, yet simple: If you are fine, they will be fine. But I sometimes think that well-meaning woman underestimated the awareness of my very precocious 5-year old. My 3-year old acts out in different ways. From throwing fits to ignoring me.

Though she understands Daddy is gone, she doesn't quite understand why he has to leave our family. She's not sold on the cause yet.

Through it all, I'm happy to have this training period come to an end. It wasn't just training for my husband and his crew. It was training for our family too. Towards the end of this thing, we've started to get into a routine. The children have begun to listen and obey me better. I'm finding it difficult searching for a balance between being loving, fun and the disciplinarian. Getting by is just not going to be enough for me as a parent over the next deployment. It needs to be more then that. There's more to it.

Right now the next few months will be quiet, heavenly. I'm wanting to make every day count.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Re-inventing Mother's Day

I had a great day yesterday. What made it great? Spending the day with the most important two little ones in my life.

In our present day and age, Mother's Day has been made into a day to have a break. To get away from the significantly overwhelming task of being a mediator; a chauffeur, a cook, housekeeper, a financial planner; everything that's rolled into the mom title. And that's okay. Nothing wrong with that. I love getting away as much as the next person.

But yesterday as I poured the strawberry waffle batter into the waffle maker, I had the chance to reflect on what is most important this year, about Mother's Day. That is to spend time being thankful for the purpose that God gave me. Right now, in this moment, that purpose is to be a leader for my family, and to hold it together until we are one whole again. The best gift I received yesterday was hugs and kisses from my children. They are the ones every day who give me purpose, and who love me as I am. For better or for worse, I am their mom and I will summon every bit of energy I have in me to show them that I can carry us through these lonely times.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. -Charles Dickens

You can find support in funny places when you're minus your other half.

Yesterday I picked up my children from the play land at the grocery store. By the way, the only reason I shop here is because they have free child care while you shop.

I talked to the nice old lady who works there. She takes care of the kids every so often and she mentioned that her husband was in the navy but that he had passed away years ago.
Recently she was in the hospital for a bout of pneumonia and was taken care of at the local naval hospital. "What a blessing," I found myself saying to her, that she still has quality, free medical care even years after her husband has gone. I wasn't quite sure I believed what I was saying. In that moment, I felt like I gave my robotic answer for something I take for granted.

I was so lost in my own sorrow for my crappy week, I couldn't even be thankful for the blessing right in front of my face. After spending a bit of time at home playing with my kids yesterday, I realized how truly lucky I am. Two beautiful children. A husband that loves me. A secure, stable job. Family and friends nearby. Sunshine (finally!) and a beautiful home. And then, the act of kindness that tipped the scales. My neighbor came over and mowed and trimmed my front yard for me.

You can find support in funny places, when you're minus your other half. Today, I found plenty. From that sweet lady who helped me reflect. From my friend who offered to watch my children when I need a break. From my neighbors, who care enough to help take care of me. And from deep inside me. I know that it's going to be okay, and that we're going to make it through this.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's a Given

I had the privilege of getting acquainted with my Shop Vac today. It's a small one and it only holds two gallons. So I got to empty it about 10 times.

There is some kind of law that says things must go wrong while your husband is on deployment. Injuries and catastrophes abound. It just so happened the only day I actually had errands to run after I picked up my daughter from pre-school the bathroom flooded.

"Mom, where did those footsteps come from?" My five-year-old asked me when we arrived home today. I was setting the groceries down in the kitchen when she motioned to the hallway where footsteps from her and her brother saturated the carpet. My first thought was to check the laundry room, since that's where we had a problem just a couple of months ago but after a quick check, it was dry. I opened up the bathroom to the main door and stepped into water everywhere. Only about 1/4 of an inch but it had run down the hallway and into my bedroom.

It's funny how instinct takes over even when you don't know what the hell you're doing. I shut off the water behind the toilet and lifted the lid and looked into the bowl. It wasn't overflowing but I started throwing towels down to soak up the water on the floor. I called my Dad. He's the only one I can depend on for things like this. I'm considering making friends with my neighbor who seems quite handy. As I spoke with my Dad I noticed that the fill flush valve thingy he replaced last month when he was here had come loose from its position in the tank. Not sure how that happened.

After a big sigh (and okay, I scarfed three Ferrero Rocher in a moment of insane stress) I got out the Shop Vac we recently purchased and began to suck the water out of the completely soaked carpet. A musty, moldy smell filled the hallway almost immediately. Not sure if we are going to have to replace the carpet yet.

Unfortunately Ahron wasn't able to respond to my emails until later this evening. I felt myself wishing he had a different career this afternoon. I knew it wasn't the right thing to wish for, but I couldn't help myself. But my mom made a good point when I talked to her on the phone earlier. She said,"Even if Aaron had been here, he still would have been at work so you would have had to handle it yourself anyway." She had a point. Still it was a moment that made me feel alone, and I felt resentment toward him. But when he called me on the phone this evening and told me he really loved me, I nearly lost it. Because I know in a heartbeat he would have been here to help me if he could have.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Keep Moving Forward

It's funny, as you get older, how fast time goes. I remember when I went to basic training; watching a video on the bus of how it was going to be. I remember a female recruit saying "the days move slowly but the weeks go by fast." There was never a truer statement. The weeks, the months, the years, they fly by.

I'm working on appreciating the here and the now. It can be a challenge. Especially when there always seems to be something better around the bend. In our case, it's "oh let's just get through this year and in the spring he'll be off the ship." Sometimes even, "just 10 more years until retirement, yay, halfway there!"

But when that spring, or the next five or ten years comes, are we going to be any happier then what we are now and what we have now?

It can be hard to find things to appreciate now but I will look to the little things. Less laundry, and larger paychecks. My son asking so sweetly for bubbles in his bath. My daughter bonding with our new dog. Trips to Yakima to celebrate birthdays. And phone calls. These are the things I'm cleaving to.