Well, it’s been an interesting hour or two.
As I was putting the girls down for the night, the phone rang. I didn’t answer it because Little Miss had all but snuggled down for the night (without a fight for the first night in a week, by the way!). I heard the answering machine pick up, but couldn’t tell who had called. Immediately after that, the phone rang again. Again the answering machine picked up and this time I heard my husband’s voice. I came out to the living room only to be unable to locate the phone. I listened to the messages. The first message said, “The command just told me to call you immediately.” That was it… What in the world was that supposed to mean? The second said something about half of a message and me needing to call him back right away. I hit the ‘find handset’ button and called him back.
It turns out that a guy in the squadron hadn’t heard from his wife, our neighbor, in a few days. Communication has been wonderful for us this deployment so this was pretty unusual. The command had been alerted and no one had been able to get ahold of her. I was being asked to go over and check on her.
I’d just gotten the babies to bed and I tried to figure out what to do. My thought was, that something could be really wrong and if so I’d need to get there sooner than later. This family has two little girls exactly the same age as ours…. A million scenarios flashed through my mind. Our friends down the street aren’t back from vacation yet and no one else was close enough that I felt I could call them to come watch the kiddos. Should I wait until morning or wake the girls up and head over? Little Miss and Baboo solved my dilemma by waking up in that instant.
So…. I loaded them both into the double stroller and around the corner we went. I walked up the steps and onto the porch and started knocking and looking in the windows to try to figure out what was going on. The whole time I wondered what I would find. Was this poor wife just not calling her husband? Was she out of town and he’d forgotten that she’d mentioned it? Or had something awful happened? I knocked and knocked and knocked. The lights were on. The T.V. was on. The fishtank looked a little green. Then… the German Shephards started growling and barking–none too happy with us. “Great,” I thought, “Here I am with my 3-month old and toddler and we’re about to get shredded to bits by the guard dogs.”
I kept knocking and finally the poor girl came to the door. In a towel. (Oops).
Without thinking, I blurted out, “I know you probably think I’m a psycho-stalker now, but my husband just called. Apparently your husband is really worried because he hasn’t heard from you in a few days. Is everything ok?”
She looked shaken and I could tell she was trying to get a handle on the words coming out of my mouth, “Yeah. We’re ok. The phone and internet were disconnected. I thought… I thought it was him.”
“Oh, Ok. Well, I was afraid something was terribly wrong so I figured I would risk looking crazy coming over here so late rather than wait. You’re sure you’re ok? Do you need anything?”
She agreed to come over and use our phone and internet tomorrow to connect with her husband and the girls and I walked on home. As I did, I realized what *she* must have been thinking.
When the knocking didn’t stop she probably wondered if there was a government vehicle parked outside and a chaplain in Dress Blues on her doorstep. When it was me she probably still thought something had happened to her husband and I was the only channel they could use to get to her since her phone had been disconnected. It suddenly dawned on me that that’s what she meant by, “I thought it was him….”
I came on home and called Husband and relayed the message to give to his friend in the command. And I’m sitting here now, hoping and praying that I didn’t scare this poor girl so badly that she won’t sleep tonight. I’m hoping and praying that she will come over tomorrow, use our phone and melt into the relief of hearing her husband’s voice. And I’m hoping she’ll accept my apology and the batch of cookies I’m planning to bake her.
The chain of worry and disconcertedness started with the command’s botched message to husband. At first he was told only, “Call your wife immediately.” I got the torch of disconcertedness with the worry of what could possibly be wrong (I do have a writer’s imagination at times). I passed it on with my poorly communicated message and strange and sudden presence on a night when this poor woman wasn’t expecting anyone. And now I’m sitting here disconcerted about the whole chain of events, and my part in probably scaring the bejeebers out of this poor girl and her babies.
Like I said, it’s been an interesting evening.