I think we all can agree it's been a tense week. Bombings...not just on US soil but around the world. Explosions. Earthquakes. Lives lost. Lives forever damaged. Forever changed.
But yesterday evening, when citizens of Watertown, MA were cheering in the streets and the entire nation was watching the dramatic conclusion of a massive manhunt, I was at home. Quiet. Waiting on a text that would tell me my husband was headed home.
It was just after supper. He was finishing up washing dishes when his phone rang. Juggling the phone at his ear as he made more phone calls, alerting the team, changing into his work clothes. An abandoned backpack had been spotting in the food court of a local mall. No way to get the robot to it. He was going to have to suit up to investigate.
Any other call out prior to this week I would have kissed him good bye and sent him on his way. Last night, we made sure both kiddos told him good bye and good night. My own hug and kiss was longer. It pisses me off that I spent time worried. And scared. Inside. Outside, it was just a normal call out. Bath and bedtime proceded just like normal for our children. I may have spent a little extra snuggle time with them, a few more bedtime kisses.
I stayed away from the computer. Away from the news. I spent a quiet night reading.
Then the text came. He was clear and on his way home.
Once he came home and we talked about it I tuned back into the world. I pulled up the story the local news had about the evening's events. And there were people on there complaining about their tax money being wasted on paranoia. Talking about how we're now living in a state of fear. A few even opined the local PD was feeling left out of the attention garnered by their brothers up north.
Three innocent people lost their lives and 170 others were wounded because of bombs left in backpacks. My husband approached an abandoned backpack with no more protection than a bomb suit, fully aware that it might be The One.
A state of fear? Nope. Their job takes more balls and guts than any normal person could handle. Paranoia? No. Just a normal day? Yes. They investigate countless backpacks, suitcases, and suspicious packages. The only thing that made last night's call out different from any other was the massive media presence and the public awareness.
Above the hanger bay doors of my former squadron was printed: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
Someone has to keep the watch.
Me? I simply need to remember that it's just a normal day.