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Friday, February 4, 2011

January 30

January 30, 2011
            Last night was the most frightening night of my life.  When I crawled into bed around eight, Brandon was shaking from fever, so I made him take medicine to bring the fever down.  While trying to soothe him, we heard the gunfire start.  Around ten, a voice came over the radio telling the Marines that looters were on their street, and gunfire was heard only a road away.  Two minutes later, someone else reported gunfire around streets 17 and 18.  We live at 17 and Orabi.  The radio grew quiet for a time, and I drifted off to sleep.
            At 11:45, the phone rang.  If there were voluntary departure, would we like to leave?  Brandon told them yes, and we tried to go back to sleep.  Brandon slept, but I only slept fitfully, the sleep where I woke up thinking that I had never been asleep in the first place.
            This morning we woke up, and everything was quiet.  The day was a clear as I’d ever seen it and the birds were singing.  After breakfast, I sent Brandon to bed and folded yesterday’s laundry.  The girls and Edwin played quietly, and I could almost believe that it was a normal day.
            Then Brandon came in.  They were starting authorized departures.  And so now my room is full of suitcases, mostly packed.  Sophia and Kathleen have their shoes on and are busy packing their carry-ons.  They are excited and keep telling me, “Mom you have two options.  You can stay here and be killed, or leave and be safe.”  I don’t want to leave, more than anything in life I don’t want to leave.  I don’t want to be with my parents for an unknown length of time, at least 30 days.  I don’t want to be without Brandon.  I don’t want to leave Egypt this way and never come back.  I don’t want to have to be transferred to DC early and live in DC for a year on five suitcases.  I don’t want to have to worry about Brandon every single minute.  I don’t want to be in somebody else’s house as a guest for who knows how long.  I don’t want to leave.  If I could have a magic wand and wave it just once, now would be the time. 


Sarah Flib said...

Is this even real?? I know it is, but it's crazy that this has happened to your family and I just can't imagine how surreal this must feel for you. Packing up those suitcases and having no idea if you'll ever see anything again that you don't pack inside of them . . . I'm so sorry. I'm glad you and the kids are safe, and we'll keep praying that Brandon is as well.

Nisa said...

I wish I had a magic wand to wave for you. More than anything I wish that.

Becky said...

My heart goes out to you. I hope that you are able to process and be okay now that you have landed. It isn't easy. You are doing a great service sharing the reality of this stuff with other people. I hope it is helping you too.

We're still praying for you and your husband.

Ashlie said...

Ashley, This is incredibly frightening! The amount of emotion that you must have/are currently experiencing is overwhelming! I love you guys, and I'm so glad you and the kids made it out safely, but I am sure it was indescribably difficult. I continue to pray for Brandon, and hope he can leave soon! <3

Amy Henderson said...

If it's any consolation, my sister was evacuated from at least two African countries. For a while, after one of them, she and her family lived in a furnished apartment in Arlington. Amazingly enough, both times after evacuation, some house packing people went to her house in Africa and packed up her stuff and had it shipped to her in the States, and she didn't have to be without her own things for too long. Mostly I hope that Brandon can join you, soon. If you need a distraction, come and see us.
Aunt Amy

Nomads By Nature said...

Just wanted to let you know that I have linked your post to my blog.