A text from a dear friend, who also just happens to be a dispatcher for the same county Sean works for, following the text where she informed me of all the back up emergency personnel who had been dispatched to help with yesterday's call.
The funny thing is...I don't worry. Odd, I know.
I grew up in a 3rd world country. One already at odds with the neighbor to the north when we moved there in 1978. Tensions were high. Road blocks were everywhere. I recall one journey that came within a hiccup of changing my life forever.
We were traveling as a family, together with a young local pastor and his wife. For once our Peugeot station wagon was cruising along a rare smooth stretch of dirt road. There was a road block just over the crest of the hill. Beat up Peugeots are incapable of stopping on a dime and we plowed right through it. The conscript soldier that yanked my dad out of the driver's seat was every bit as scared as we were. Except he was the one with the AK47. And his finger on the trigger. In a heartbeat, my mom and our companions started praying. My sister and I rolled onto the floorboards out of sight. After four months in language school my dad still wasn't really comfortable with Swahili. That afternoon, in the hot African sun, he was fluent.
A short time later the northern neighbor invaded and our town was caught somewhere in the middle. Bomb drills at school were common place...because crawling under a wooden desk will save your life if your cement block school room is the target of an air raid. For what seemed like an eternity we lived with blackouts, the sound of fighter jets overhead and distant explosions. Though I'm sure it was only a few months. Out on the lake there was an island that had been turned into a zoo and animal sanctuary. One night a wayward bomb landed near the chimp house and killed one of the inmates. The other ones were never the same after that.
My senior year in high school we moved to another country. Every election year wrought violence and turmoil. It was also a country known for harboring terrorist cells. The US embassy was a favorite target. Our school, however, even though it was widely known as an American boarding school was always a safe haven. There's a story about an army of Angels thwarting a Mau Mau attack. Whether one believes in that or not, I know we were protected.
In my early 20's the US was at war again. I enlisted in the US Navy at the tail end of Gulf War I. Fully aware of the peril. Fully aware that with my job designation I could be sent somewhere every day Americans didn't like to think women were sent.
My parents currently live in one of the least peaceful areas of the world. It's nothing unusual to receive an email informing us that they're just going to hunker down in the apartment for a couple of days to avoid riots and mobs...or worse, religious fanatics on the hunt for Americans.
There are countless moments in my past when it should have been Game Over...either for me or for ones close to me. But it wasn't. For whatever reason, we're all still here. While I believe that bad things can and do happen to good people, I know we're protected. I also know there's still work to be done on this side of Heaven. I also have the assurance that should anything ever happen, I will find the strength to get through it. There's a reason God made me just a little bit tougher.
So when I'm told my husband is out on a potentially hazardous-to-his-health call? No, I don't worry. But that doesn't mean I'm not concerned. The first is crippling and life consuming. The latter is Love.