Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Preparing for Live "After"

After the Coast Guard, that is.
It seems that we've lived in a state continual preparation for retirement for like a bazillion years or so, and yet it never seems to get any closer. Must be some weird vortex, huh? But, at 26 years and counting it could happen any time. And with that reality in mind my dear sweet husband has transformed himself into a swirling terror of "drop dead dates" and "plan b's". It would be mildly amusing if I wasn't along for the ride.
Our latest adventure in the land of the almost-ready-to-submit-the-retirement-letter is doing everything in our power and maybe in other's power as well, to get the poor old guy his captain's license. He's just chomping at the bit to be driving a boat again. He's at a desk job for the first time in all these years, so he's forced to jump on board every short-handed cutter he can find. You may have seen his ad in Craigslist..."Need a DWO? I'm your man. Current quals on several cutter classes. BDS as well. Desperate." Okay, so maybe he didn't put an ad on Craigslist, but it's only because he hasn't thought of it yet.
I give him big smiles and encouragement when he beams about his next u/w trip or about a cutter soliciting for a fill-in. I load up the kids and the van for trips to the end of the world to get his license "stuff" taken care of. I happily shell out the moola for the up-to-date schools. Then it suddenly hits me.
He's working so hard to get u/w. Wait. He's working so hard to get u/w AFTER he gets out of the Coast Guard. (At this point I usually have to sit down.) He is dying to get a 2-weeks on/2-weeks off job. (At this point I usually have to go lay down with my feet up.)
I wonder if I have the moral fortitude to continue this series of forced separations for years and years longer. I know that I do, but do I want to? No, not really. But, it makes him happy. And in some weird, twisted way it makes all of the craziness that he's been through while IN the Coast Guard worthwhile. It makes it more logical and seamless to transition into something else tied to a dock rather then in passing out carts at Home Depot.
So, good luck my crazy husband. I hope that it all comes together and you get your own little tug boat one of these days. I hope that the kids always find a certain kind of joy in crossing a bridge and saying "oh, look it's Daddy's river". And I'll quietly hope that I'm always strong enough to be the boatman's wife.

5 comments:

Amber said...

Wow. That was very moving, E. Best of luck to J and your family as you guys get closer to opening a new door.

Lainy said...

Thanks Amber...The nerves and jitters I get from contemplating all this is a million times worse then any PCS. I think I'll be completely grey and insane by the time he really does retire.

The Syds said...

There's Daddy's river, right down the road from Mommy's forever home! That will be the best part! And you are strong enough, you know you are!

Just a Girl in a Port said...

You really put some things into perspective for me. Part of me envies your position right now and part of me really is glad it's not me. I wish you all the foritude you can muster and all the strength to maintain your sanity whatever the future brings. You continue to mesmerize me with your resilience and flexibility. Good luck!

Lainy said...

Okay...that's kind of funny. I've had this post up there for how long now and I JUST noticed that it says "LIVE" rather then "LIFE"....oy.
Sorry.