These words struck me as I was reading tonight - we'll come home - a phrase from Kristin Hannah's new book which explores the dynamics of a family where the mother's national guard unit it called to duty. These three simple words, spoken by her best friend and fellow pilot -
Last night, as I was in and out of sleep, I kept thinking about my bed at home and how much i missed it. I had my mom bring me my sheets and duvet cover, just so it would feel a bit more homelike. And I know my three months here (where to most observers around me I appear to be a very young snowbird) are a very small sacrifice to pay in the grand scheme of things - but I still want to go home. More importantly, i wish these were different circumstances for my visit. Don't get me wrong, i am well aware that the best treatments could be in some god forsaken place and i could be staying at a Motel 6 - or my parents would need to mortgage their home to pay for my out of pocket treatments - or i would need to be here alone - there is a laundry list of criteria that i am ever mindful of that would make this experience much much more difficult.
I ache to return home better than when i left. The last two days the rash i get on my neck returned, inflamed and angry, and i had a tinging feeling around my mouth - and most of my skin felt like it was crawling - much like you think of a drug addict waiting for their next hit - and I knew that would mean i would get my blood treatment today - its a strange thing to crave - but when I am back in milwaukee and these infections build up on the surface in my blood, i have these symptoms for many more days, where I knew today they would be subsided.
My parents took me to my appointment, and i was very lucky because today's treatment went like clockwork - when we got back to the condo all i could do is crawl to bed - despite my sprite stained pants from one exploding in the car - i didn't care - i dove into the bed and crashed. When I arose at 7pm I came out and everyone was eating carry-out from a the local Zin restaurant - and I nearly burst into tears - because that's all i wanted to do was join in, eat a burger or chicken sandwich - the sweet potato fries - but the last two times i ate there i needed a benadryl - who knows what it was - something in the bun - the seasoning - all i knew is i wasn't playing with fire tonight - its a silly thing - i'm lucky i don't go hungry - its more the effort - i just want to forget about all these crappy symptoms sometimes, and be normal.
and then i read a statement like, we'll come home, and the weight of those words hit me - they kept echoing through my head, sure, i get nervous all the time, when i'm here, what if i don't get home - but i can recognize that as an irrational fear - my worst case scenario is i come home the same as i left - and though this terrain is rocky and often unknown, its nothing compared to those in a uniform - those that coming home is no where close to guaranteed. and that statement - we'll come home - is more a mantra than an absolute - those of you that have said that statement to yourselves in the dark of night - or to your family with a courageous promise - thank you. though i may not support the war you are sent to - we all support you - as i read the term - "i've got your six" in flight terms meaning we have your back, a fellow helicopter directly behind - what a gorgeous phrase - may we all strive to be someone's 6 o'clock -
- the prologue of Homefront by Kristin Hannah -
From A Distance -
There are some things you learn best in calm, some in storm ~ Willa Cather.
I have often described this illness as a storm, and though i feel i have learned plenty and also was quite self aware when i lived in calm - i will repeat these words again - and again - and try to learn all i can from this storm - as i hope i find my way back home.