Yesterday, Brandon called me. He had been given the option to leave, and after much much consideration, he decided to go. I knew that I should have felt happy, relieved, excited when I got the phone call, but I felt nothing. And so I arranged for a corporate rental apartment, got in touch with a car-buying service, started going through the mental lists of what had to buy to stock the apartment, and offered a very heartfelt prayer of thanks.
I called him this morning, and he was (and probably is) still sitting at the airport, waiting to leave. I asked him how he was feeling, and he was was very distressed about having to leave; he feels that he is abandoning his co-workers, his job, and his responsibility for Rere. He gave her all of the cash he had on hand when he left, but it was barely enough to cover a month's salary. The only reason he is leaving is for me and the children.
If we knew that we were coming back, I don't think Brandon would be distressed - but we don't. We only have six months left on our tour, and how long the evacuation will last is anybody's guess. If they do let Brandon go back, they might not let me and the children go back. If Brandon doesn't go back, then we will be PCS'd to DC.
We had been planning on being TDY for Brandon's training, and the per diem would neatly cover all of our housing. If we are PCS'd, however, we will be given an eight percent pay raise, everything we have in storage, and a hearty good luck for finding any kind of reasonable housing for three children less than three hours away from DC on a very low FS-5 salary. We have been very careful with our money, and have saved quite a bit, but if we're in DC for eighteen months on our own power, there won't be a penny left by the time we leave. And I'll be crammed into a tiny apartment with at least three children (we don't plan to be done any time soon) for a year and a half tearing my hair out.
If Brandon goes back to post, I'll be in an apartment that is paid for, but I will be without my husband for three or four months. Either way, I'll be prematurely bald.
If I knew what would happen next, then I could plan. But I don't. I don't even know when Brandon will be coming back to the US. I always prefer to have the disaster happen so I can get to cleaning it up rather than bracing for an undefined coming evil.
Nothing in life is ever neat. We often move from one disaster to the next, and I suppose I'm owed one after the last year of peace and calm. Philosophy, however, only gets one so far when reality stares you in the face. But, what can be done? Not much except to get out of bed every day, take care of those you are responsible for, and do it again the next day.