On my bookshelf is a book, "Ahab's Wife" by Sena Jeter Naslund, the front cover of which always makes me say a small prayer of thanks. There is a woman, I always convince myself she's a sailors widow, standing on the beach dwarfed by the wrecked keel of a boat.
It's not about the story, it's about the cover. And it always makes me think about how lucky I am. My husband didn't sail off into the unknown, to return years later if at all. He doesn't sail the deep blue sea with no hope of a word from home, likewise, I don't bide my time wondering if he's safe while keeping the home fires, quite literally, burning.
I've never been more thankful for modern communication. The cellphone and email are my new found best friends. This is the first ship Jon has been on that he had email connectivity, it is a wonderful thing! There is nothing like getting up in the morning and reading an email about how amazing flat the ocean was or about the weather in Hawaii or about just the everyday work onboard the ship. I embrace the ability to share the happenings here. I've sent pictures of elk in the front yard and sent updates of the kids' baseball seasons. Twice now I've been surprised with phone calls. Once when the boat was 150 miles offshore of Hawaii, now why there is connectivity 150 miles offshore when I have to tilt my head just the right way and I'm firmly planted on mother earth I have no idea- but I'm certainly not complaining. And once when some issues with equipment kept them hovering within cellphone range a bit longer then expected. Both were like discovering a perfect seashell, hold it gently and try not to break it, all while smiling like a fool.
We're almost one month into a five month underway schedule and I think we all might make it. The kids and I at home, because we know he's alright; we can talk to him, read his words. Jon because he's doing a job he loves doing and doesn't have to worry about us.
My heart goes out to all the wives and families who have danced this dance in generations past and watched their hearts sail out out to sea. Left at home to care for children and houses, alone. My prayers stay with those who are doing it now, it's never easy. But, it has certainly gotten easier.