Monday, August 25, 2008

Two Answered Prayers

It's been a busy few weeks in Laurel Land. Right in the midst of that were two answered prayers.

You may recall that I had an issue with my eyes on a recent trip to Las Vegas. Recently I went to a local retinal specialist who had the head of a buffalo on the wall and religious materials in the waiting room. The head of the buffalo was bigger than I am. I wondered if he had prayed for the buffalo before he shot it. I resolved to keep my mouth shut.

He did a through exam just as the doctor in Las Vegas had. He told me that I am indeed at greater risk. "You do not have a normal eye," he said. I held my tongue for I had figured that out when I was four and had eye surgery. But he said that my retina was in great shape. His diagnosis was that I had a migraine, despite my lack of a headache. My honey later told me that it was called an aura, and it could appear with or without a headache. I rejoiced and celebrated. I never though a migraine could be an answer to a prayer.

The other prayer was longer in coming.

Ever since I can remember, my best friend Sis had wanted to make a career of the Air Force. She didn't want to go join the military; she wanted to join the Air Force. She didn't want to do a tour; she wanted to make a career of the Air Force. She enlisted for six years on her eighteenth birthday. In retrospect, it made sense for the oldest of a divorced mother who probably couldn't pay for college. But what I always remember is her single-minded devotion to a career the Air Force.

The Air Force worked out well for her. But with her attitude, I can't imagine anything NOT working out for the best. She met and married her husband in the Air Force, and she had three beautiful children. We always have the same home base. I went to her weddings. She came to my graduation when I finally got my doc. I mailed her care packages. She sent exotic postcards. I visited her base when it was close enough. We were even on TV together.

Now, this is not a career path without risks. She did her time in the Middle East. I was nervous when she went in 98, and that was in peacetime. When I got the email in 2004 that she was being deployed and couldn't tell us where, I cried for two hours, worried sick about her. Yes, she is a trained professional, and I reminded myself of that. But she is also Sis, who hung upside-down from trees with me and cried over high-school breakups. She came back safe and sound, if a little thinner. She has lines on her face now. But then again, don't we all? We're not as close as we once were, sharing clothes and stories like we did when we were teens. But we still love each other and call each other "sis."

She retired after 20 years in, on the day after her birthday. Twenty years and one day. She didn't want to retire, but her next assignment was to "a place with b's and m's where they shouldn't be" (according to My Honey...neither of us caught the actual name), so she decided to retire and get a part-time job so she could be a full-time mom.

Her retirement is the answer to a 20-year series of prayer. She's had three children. Her marriage has had its rough spots. it's hard enough with one partner in the military: both makes it damn near impossible, in my view. She has been deployed to places that are a little too close to harm's way for my taste. And through it all, I prayed and she came through with flying colors. Maybe I'm giving myself a bit too much credit, but I think it was a joint effort.

And I thank God for it! Two big old answered prayers in one week! At times I have doubts. But now is not one of those times, and I'm celebrating it.


Deadpan Alley said...

Ocular migraines! I get them three or four times a year. They used to be followed by headaches, but for a good long while now (knock on wood), I've had the visual symptoms only. Although after the visual anomalies clear up, I usually feel drained and spaced-out, just as I do after recuperating from a migraine headache.

Here's hoping that was your only encounter with them.

And what wonderful news about your friend's retirement!

ruppie said...

Great news about the migraines. I hope there aren't anymore of them too.
As for the career and retirement, it's quite an accomplishment.
I've known several other people who have retired from the military. The down side (at least from my own selfish point of view) is thinking how much longer I'm going to need to work and how nice it must be to be retired with a pension!!

rebecca said...

Wow! That's a lot to be thankful for!

I can relate to your relief at your friend's retirement. I was so happy when my Dad retired from the Air Guard after his "War Tour!" I don't know what happened over there, but my flag-waving patriot Dad won't even speak about his experiences in the current war. He signed his retirement papers the day he got home.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Wow. She's truly lucky, and gets to retire at such a young age! And still healthy in body and mind. That is a blessing. And so is your sight. Cheers!