Murphy. He is real and he may be Taliban.
Every Soldier knows that Murphy will attack the moment they leave home. We know this with the same certainty that you will hit every red light when you’re running late or that having Taco Bell for lunch is delicious but will cause gastrointestinal apocalypse within 20 minutes.
Our experience was no different. A few days before my flight, we discovered that the icemaker supply valve failed, creating a lovely waterfall in the basement living room. Hours after my departure, my wife had my beloved dog at the vet for what we thought were allergies. It was cancer. She then had to plan his care and a loving end alone. Arriving home, she noticed water under the washing machine. This, of course was just before a massive snow storm, which made repairmen scarce. It also meant it was a great time for the garbage disposal to fall out of the sink. The same snowstorm led her to drive my previously trusty SUV ...until the window and door latch broke leaving her to climb though the passenger’s side to drive it with the window down in a snowstorm. This forced her back in to the other car, which already required a screw driver to get it in to gear (I swear I was gonna get to it). You can just imagine her relief when a helpful neighbor pulled up and informed her that her brake lights weren’t working. Sadly, this just added an errand when, the next day, two of the four kids became ill. Meanwhile, the hotel the Army had me in was providing only oatmeal raisin cookies and not chocolate chip. No, I didn’t tell her that. Yes, I helped in whatever telephonic ways I could. I’m not nearly as dumb as I look.
Ah, the first week done. Fifty more to go.
Before you begin sending sympathy checks (remember, my name is with a Y not an I), know that people were there for us. Some fantastic friends helped move kids, fix cars, find ceiling fixers, lent vehicles and more. I even have nurse friends volunteering to provide first aid when I come home on pass and Marsha punches me in the face for deploying. In all of it, we begin to see that we aren’t alone. Sometimes when people say “call me if you need anything”, they mean it. Sometimes the church is the Church. Sometimes, when you ask God for help, He looks an awful lot like a neighbor just watching your daughter for a couple of hours.
Thanks to those who helped us and who help any Soldier’s family. When you help my wife fix a car door, you have her back. When you have her back, you have mine. When I know my back is covered, I can focus on covering another Soldier’s back. Thats how we all make it home so our spouses can punch us in the face.Seriously though, oatmeal raisin…THAT is hardship. Looks like a cookie. Contains raisins. Unfixable.