The Long and Short Of It

God willing by the time you all read this, we’re through it!
So as you all know, my one and only son left me, his one and only Momma, to join the Navy back in February. He was joining with the intention of becoming a diver, and was scheduled to graduate May 7th. When he left, I was torn between being incredibly inspirational and stoic, and a puddle. I realize there are a lot of degrees in-between those and I’m pretty sure I touched them all on my way around the bases. Not being able to pick up a phone and call him, or send him a text message for 10 weeks seemed like an eternity when he left…and it is, for the record, an eternity. We, as a family, went in with this, “we can do this” attitude which I love we have, all of us, including my son’s Dad were and are behind this kid 150%. We had our boots strapped and sleeves rolled up to kick ass on Navy basic training as a family. We were gonna fly through this! It would be over before we knew it.
What’s the old saying, “The best laid plans go awry?” Yeah, I think that’s it.
Three weeks into Basic my son gave up his Short Order contract and I got a drive by (literally it’s a “hello Mom, this is Christian, my Division is now —, same ship and address but new division number —, I love you, goodbye”. As he hung up I’m shouting, “Can I ask questions?!” to which all I received was a “I’ll send you a letter” and he hung up. It took me longer to write the conversation for you right now then it did for him to have the conversation on the phone. Hence me referring to it as a drive by call.
This is how I found out he changed his entire life path.
So – new direction, new division, and onward. Address changes, letting everyone know about his address change while we wait and wait and wait to get a letter telling us what prompted this change. Time just drags on forever! Ten days went by, perhaps the longest 10 days of my life, before we had a letter. It was painful.
Time eased a bit, things settled into a new norm and a new rhythm. Until the next drive by call came. “Mom, it’s Christian”. I could hear him fighting back tears. “What’s wrong, are you ok?”
“Yeah, I’m being ROMed. My bunkmate tested positive for COVID.
“Shit.” I said.
We talked for a few minutes as he was able based on the time frame from his commander. You know how you can sit in a quiet room and hear the seconds tick by on a clock? Yeah, that was our conversation. Tick, tick, tick.
“I gotta go. They’ll forward my mail, just put ROM on the bottom.”
Painful. Absolutely, positively painful.
Two full weeks in quarantine, which would equate to a two week delay in his graduation date.
Two weeks go by. No more news is good news so again, another new division, and onward. The two weeks delay created a three week delay so now Basic is 15 weeks, not 10. Mother of Mercy help me. I’m serious, I’m a praying woman anyway, and more so now than ever.
Mothers Day- the original date he was supposed to graduate, just two days before. Nope. The day came and went and I missed him on my first Mothers Day without the kid that made me a Mom. The day seemed to last forever…and not in a good way.
So here we are, 10 days out. I’m praying, candles lit, my Mom has candles lit. I’m praying he stays healthy, praying his mates stay healthy. Praying. Tick, tick, tick.
Today I wrote him the last letter I’ll write to him in Basic training. Tick tock, tick tock. When basic is over, he’ll get his phone back and we’ll be able to talk for real, wherever we want to, or text messages during the day! Tick, tick, tock.
Next week, shit gets real. The last two weeks are constant tests of whether they as a unit know what and how they need to know. At the end, is the final which is not like it is sitting in a classroom. The final is 24-hours straight. Tick, tick, tick.
It has been incredible to me the play of the mind on time. I realize that time doesn’t exist anywhere but in the human conscious mind. I am aware that time is a construct, and within a construct, time is finite. So, why is it that one day can drag on forever, and the next week, or month or year can fly by in what seems like a flash.
Why is it that most days zoom past, and so many of the last almost 15 weeks have been so freakin’ slow. And now suddenly, zoom, it’s been almost 15 weeks? It’s crazy to me.
Time flies like an arrow…as the saying goes, but fruit flies like a banana…as some of us finish it just because it’s funny.
Sixty seconds makes a minute, 60 minutes makes an hour, 24-hours in a day, seven days in a week. We all know the constructs of time; but perception of time, the long and the short, makes it precisely what it is.
Forever the journey,

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