It has to be said how much of our darn luck, that JG and I find ourselves experiencing an unrest on our first assignment.
Especially for JG, imagine, at 28 my husband who collects comic books and still has a Justice League poster hanging in our bedroom is currently living in a country under what news are now calling a civil war and has experienced assisting in the expatriation of more than 10,000 people. Hands down possibly the most stressful situations in his life. After we got back from our month long vacation, as soon as we arrived he literary hit the ground running and headed straight to work. The next day, things got worst and he hasn’t really stopped since.
I have never really seen JG so tired and worn out in the eight years that I have known him. I thought by that account I could claim that I have seen all sides of him and yet it seems that there are still many to discover yet. During the first few days of the unrest, I could only watch him as he waits for his ride to work, sitting on the dining table his eyes closed, hands on his temple massaging the furrows forming on his forehead. When the embassy car would arrive he would sigh, the kind that is long and deep, and abruptly stand as if wanting to shake off the fatigue and stress in his body. I felt so useless seeing him like that, and the last time I felt that way was when our house caught fire some years back and burn to the ground. And if that wasn’t torture enough I had to be sent away for my safety, leaving him behind where he says he should remain because that is where his work is, and that it is his duty to stay.
Truth is, ever since the unrest in Libya began he was already bent on sending me and his mom away. I pleaded that he let me stay, even played the “for better or worst” card, but he had already made up his mind. I convinced myself that it was the right thing to do, the practical thing to do, that it was the least I could do to lessen his worry. Every logical sense in me pointed to that direction, so I assured him that at the first chance, I would reluctantly yet obediently leave – then again I have never the been logical type.
And that was hardest thing this entire crisis has brought to me, I found myself torn to whether or not the right thing do was leave my husband’s side. More than living in such a tensed situation or worrying if the violence would reach my neighborhood, I dreaded leaving the most. A few days later, JG is sent to the Tunisian border to assist in evacuating the Filipinos who want to flee, and was supposed to be a two night’s stay became ten.
So for ten days, it was just me and my Mother-in-law, staying in the house watching the news endlessly hoping for all of it to finally end. On the fourth day of JG being away, he calls me to say that there is a ship bound for Crete to take all embassy dependents home. He tells me has us listed and that we should be ready anytime. Since we have agreed to this early on, I reluctantly listened to his instructions, telling myself this is all for the best. But I really couldn’t just go, especially that I haven’t seen him in days, and that I will be leaving without even being able to say goodbye, worst of all not knowing when I’ll be seeing him again.
I know this may sound a bit over dramatic to probably some of you, but under the circumstances I still think I was entitled to be a little stubborn. So even though we had our names listed to board the ship, we changed our mind the next day, and decided to stay. By then, I was determined that I wasn’t going to leave without seeing him at least, or if things get worst, I would hopefully be leaving with him.
It is funny how God answers our prayers sometimes, six more days go by, and JG surprisingly knocks on our front door to my absolute joy. But like all good things, the catch was that we were to leave the very next day via Djerba, under strict compliance that all remaining dependents and non-essential embassy personnel be evacuated. There wasn’t any other way now, I did get to see JG only to leave him again, the day I was dreading had finally arrived.
I tried hard not to cry the day we had to say goodbye at the border, but I must admit I do now thinking about it as I write this entry. A few months ago, my biggest concerns were learning not to be a wallflower at parties and walking in heels, now I find myself fighting the urge to go back into Libya to make him the Buffalo Chicken that he likes, or at least give him a hug.
I suppose this is something all Diplowives have to learn, that our husbands are also like soldiers sent to dangerous situations, and your job is to wait with nothing else to do but to look forward to until you can be with them again. I don’t suppose there is a manual for experiences like this; I guess we all have to endure things like these at some point. I was talking with one of JG’s experienced colleague the other day and he says experiencing this on our first posting is a bit of a good thing because after this, all the next ones will definitely be a breeze. I find myself concentrating on that lately. I really look forward to the day when JG and I look back at all this and laugh at our darn luck going through unrest on our first assignment.