I should start this by writing a caviat - My back went out and I'm on a LOT of very strong pain medicines - thank you Mr ER Doc! Good thing though or I'm not sure I would have handled today as well as I did - which wasn't very well!
My sister had a test done for colon polyps. The doc found ONE, one measly little polyp. Problem is she told my sister that it looked 'suspicious'. Of course, biopsy results will take a few days. So, here I sit 1,000 miles away, unable to comfort her, worry with her or cheer her up. Being apart from family when they need you is one of the hardest parts of being in the military.
I know that I can jump on a plane and go to see her, but I wanted to be able to go with her to her test, to drive home with her, take her to a movie and make her laugh. The geo-separation is tough. My folks live about 5 miles from her, so I miss them too. My brother is about 4 hours away from them. But it would take me 18 hours to drive there. Not exactly a hop, skip and a jump....
Last week my father-in-law had a heart scare and ended up having an angioplasty. They are snowbirding and away from home. It's just frightening not being near family. When medical stuff happens you want to be close and our 'migrant' lifestyle just doesn't allow for that. Think back to when Trying to Grok was suffering through miscarriages or Andi was holding herself together with frozen veggies! These are things that happen to us (like my current herniated lumbar disks). Somehow it seems worse when the medical problems are happening to family and you can't be there. When grandparents get sick or die - I wasn't there when my grandmother died last May. When parents or siblings have medical problems or in any way 'need' you there and you can't be there, it's tough being military.
I just don't think this is considered by the civilian counterparts or for that matter, people marrying into the military. The concentration is on how tough it is when our spouses are deployed - which IS tough. But there's more to to the sacrifices our families endure.Today is hard for me - I love my sister dearly and I hate not being there to give her a hug and tell her all the reasons why this will all be okay. Cell phone calls just don't seem to be enough.
So, if you want to wallow with me in my valium/vicodin induced pity party, please do so! I love being military. I'm phenomenally proud of my husband and his contribution to the security of our nation. I love feeling that our entire family is part of this tremendous tradition and proud history of service before self. I'm just missing my family and wish we lived closer at times like these.