When I think back on the last two weeks of February and first week in March of 2011, I may end up on a closet floor mumbling and chewing on my nails.. To say it sucked - an understatement.
As most of us know, its that time of year: PCS Orders! We've been here for 3 years, so we knew something was going to come down. Of course it was - I'm getting established here, I may have the opportunity to work in a family support position... so yeah, time to move! It's a joy and a heartbreak of military life - we get to see new places, but we tear up our lives to do it. Chief would rather do another individual assignment downrange and let me stay here, with a good support structure and we honestly didn't think that would be a hard thing!
The Branch Manager [off stage right -hissing, booing from the audience] had other plans. First this fort, then that one. one close to the family! OK, lets go... what do you mean that's been pulled, it was on the table last night? oh, ok, the other one is in the middle of nowhere and not much decent housing off post... wait.. wait.... Nope - there's a short notice IA downrange...
Wound in and around this insanity - is a family issue that I'm not going to discuss- it's not mine to do so, but it's hard on everyone in the family, causing stress and worry. Add in Chief being sick, deadlines and family strife - it was just a stew of emotion, stress, lack of sleep and migraine.
Throughout all this, my online friends were there. I got emails, if they saw me on gmail chat or on FB chat, they were there. One afternoon, in the middle of the worst of the uncertainty and stress a knock on the door ushered in a vase of sunshine yellow tulips, from an online friend - sending me her love and support. They let me rant, let me talk it through, kicked me in the butt to get off it, go outside, take a walk and clear my head. **today, the mailbox had a funny looking package in it.. Yarnlove from another knitting "imaginary friend" who knows how to make me smile.
For everyone who says that online relationships aren't "real"... I'll beg to differ! Yesterday, after many years of emails, blogging and commenting on each other's blog - I met with an online friend in person while she's here for a conference. It was marvelous, we knew so much about each other already and I felt entirely comfortable sitting and talking with her, she brought another blogger with her...and again it was so much fun meeting with a person who writes online.
Looking at the destruction of Japan, reading the pain that another online friend is going through because of a recent casualty - my own problems seem minor now. Plans are firm now, the uncertainty is gone. I'm a planner, uncertainty makes me nervous and stresses me, I'm not good at "just let it all roll". My friends helped me through it. I couldn't be more grateful. I hope I can be there for them when they need it - I better be, because that's what a friend is, what a friend does.