Sunday, July 02, 2006

Letting Unfounded Fears Prove You An Idiot

I joined the fire department. It damn well feels like it, anyway. Okay, so my commitment isn't nearly as obvious as Kevin's, but I'm a grumpy bear this morning, puttering around after not enough sleep, wondering if he's alive or dead.

I know, I know. Don't be so fucking melodramatic, Sandra.

I was sitting in this very room, right here yesterday, when a call came in. Kevin had been outside, so all I heard was him run in for something off the table and the closing tones (which meant there was a call) and he was gone.

Not for all that long, though. Want to know what he was doing? You can read a bit about it. This is the call, and (Kevin's so pleased with himself) he got to land STARS. I've never directed in an emergency helicopter, so it sounds impressive.

We were in a dead sleep when the tones went off, just after 1 am. The radio being right by where my head was (we have a bookshelf headboard so Kevin always puts it there) I heard the call this time. Vehicle fire.

I remember thinking that shouldn't take that long to deal with.

Unless, of course, it was a trucker with gasoline or something.

So, this morning, it being after 8 am, still no word, I started checking the news to see if there was a report of the fire, which is when I found the report of yesterday's skydiving incident. Have I ever mentioned we live right by an airport where people skydive?

Usually, when the guys get called out, it isn't so pretty.

I guess that's me, back to wondering. I hate being a worry-wart, but it's hard not to. Anybody got a moment when they let unfounded fears get the better of them and felt like an idiot later? I could sure use a story like that.


Sela Carsen said...

I just finished one of those moments. Not so life and death as yours, but it felt big at the time. Just life piling up, y'know? Where are we going? When will we move? Where will the kids go to school? How can I go to RWA with all these questions up in the air?

Then I realized that no matter where we are, at least we have a nice house right now. If we don't move, I'm fine with the kids going back to school here. We'll move when we're damn well ready. And neither hell nor high water is keeping me from RWA.

anne frasier said...

for me it always seems like when i quit anticipating something bad -- that's when it happens.

sorry. that's no help. i hope you hear from kev soon.

Dana Y. T. Lin said...

I almost lost a kid once. It was my BIL's eldest child. I was scared sh*itless. Needless to say, we found him - trying out the free samples of soy sauce chicken at the swapmeet. Ugh, growing boys and their need to eat everything in sight.

Hope you've already heard from Kevin by the time you read this.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Sela, great attitude. It's the only way to look at it, or you'd be paralyzed with indecision.

Anne, it actually is helpful. It means my worry meant things would be okay. Right?

Dana, I think losing a child would be enough to induce heart-failure. Scary. I think you posted your comment right about the time I posted the update.

Boy Kim said...

The night that I sat down with The Princesses (8 and 6 at the time) to explain to them that I wouldn't be living in the same house as them from now on...

I'd worked myself into such a state for a couple of weeks because I knew the time had to come and, for about 15 minutes before "the time", YP had been pestering me to read her a book. Shame on me that I had to put her off.

Anyway, we sat down and I explained and EP's face just crumbled and she cried like I've never seen anyone cry before. Eventually she calmed down and we talked a bit more and she cried again, this time for not quite so long. (YP, in the meantime, just sat there, no questions from her, but you could see her little brain working.)

Eventually, after about 45 minutes of talk/question/cry/calm down, EP was all cried out and it was nearing bed time, so I asked "ok, guys, any more questions?"

EP simply said "no". YP, being YP, said, "yes, will you read me this bloody book now please?" (Feeling like an idiot #1)

About two weeks later, when I went to pick them up from their mum's, as we were walking to the car, EP said, "Dad, I'm sorry I cried so much the other week. If I'd known things would be so neat having two homes, I wouldn't have been so sad." (Feeling like an idiot #2.)

Sandra Ruttan said...

Still, it's never easy to do something like that Kim. And the fact that you were concerned about how your children would handle the news shows what a caring dad you are. You could have just tossed it at them with a "deal with it" attitude, and you didn't.


Boy Kim said...

Huge thanks for your kind words, dear lady.

Without wishing to be too argumentative though (but maybe just a touch picky), I don't see myself as a caring dad.

I'm just a dad, without the 'caring' prefix, which is surely implicit along with loving, supportive, understanding and all those other wonderful things that I am (!).

Ok, so I joke about it, but I know there are so many children without "just a normal loving, caring dad", and however hard I try I can't - will never be able to - understand.

But my thanks again.

And my apologies, I appear to have hijacked your comments section.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Kim, I never mind when you put your 2 cents in on the comments. At all.

Sue said...

Sandra, my husband was in the army for 25 years and even now that he's retired from the army, on civie street he's doing pretty much what he trained for all those years to do. We don't mention on-line what exactly he does for a living, but I have those moments on a regular basis. Each day before he heads for work, I tell him... stay safe and be careful. It's become kind of a ritual for us.

You'd think I'd be used to it after all these years... but if he's too late calling or coming on-line when he's away on contract... I begin to worry.

And then everyone wonders why I'm prematurely grey... lol.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Sue, I'm glad it's not just me. Okay, rephrase. Not to suggest I'm happy that you go through this, but it's nice to know someone else understands.

Kevin's former military. A good friend of mine, her husband's been in Afghanistan for months now, several more to go on his tour. It's harsh.

Amra Pajalic said...

I freak out if my husband is late from work. He's an incredibly punctual guy and once when he was half an hour late I'd worked myself into a crying fit. He got stuck in traffic. We didn't have a mobile then, but I changed that quick-smart.

I hope everything is okay with Kevin. To love is to worry. Try not to let your anxiety cause you ill health.

Sue said...

No need to rephrase. The reason I posted was so that you wouldn't feel like you were the only one going through this. I guess, that is one of the few advantages of having gone through the things I've gone through over the years... I can try to be there for others, even if only a small way.

And Sandra... let your friend know that she'll come through this time too. Dave was part of the peace implementation force in Bosnia and he was also part of the group of Canadians who launched the ground component in Kosovo. Many people don't know that Canadians were one of the first forces to enter Kosovo in 1999. Dave was out of contact for over a month then. I didn't know where he was and the army (for security reasons) couldn't tell me. There were times I thought I'd go out of my mind with worry. But tell your friend that we made it through and I pray the same for her and her husband.

But all the worry, the uncertainty... it has made Dave and I appreciate the time we do have together and we never take each other for granted. It's given us a bond that others, who see us together, tell us is rare. Each new day is precious to us because we are facing it together, because each time he's come back to me.

Andrea at Lochthyme said...

Yes, the day I was waiting for my daughter's bus home from school. It arrives and she doesn't get off. So the bus driver is calling in to base and they are trying to locate her. Nothing. So she tells me to go home and hopefully the school is calling me. I'm with my youngest daughter walking home crying cause I don't know what happened to my daughter and thinking the worst thoughts. I get home and there's a message from the school. She missed the bus. Phew! In the back of my mind I knew it was something like that but the worst thoughts always manage to make themselves heard.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Sue, that bond is rare!

Amra, I'm the exact same. I'm such a worrier.

Andrea, I think I'd die. You tell yourself it's all okay, but there's always that niggling doubt in the back of your mind.