Friday, September 13, 2013

Day Twenty Four

I usually wake up several times a night and check my messages.  Mitch knows I'm a little psycho about the danger he's in every day, and he's very good about leaving me frequent updates so I know he's okay, then I usually can go back to sleep.  My 3:45 am message was this:

"All is well here. Consulate Herat is being evacuated to Kabul. No Americans were harmed. 2 Afghan consulate security and 1 police were killed. Undetermined number of Taliban were all killed. (All of them). I'm fine. No activity here."

Today is not one of the days I was able to go back to sleep. I turned on the news and hit the internet. After I read everything I could about the attack on the US Consulate in Herat this morning, I spent the next few hours lying wide awake in bed with my thoughts. Is bringing diplomacy to parts of the world where your life is constantly on t he line worth it? Is there any Xanax in the house? Did I remember to bring the dog in last night? What if Kabul is next? What if they go for a 'soft target' and hit Brasilia? Will the gardener get the hint of a bucket and sponge left by my car and wash it for me before I go to work? I need to remember to pick up lightbulbs at the commissary. Why hasn't Mitch called me so I can hear his voice? Why is level 29 in Candy Crush so flipping unbeatable? Did we make the biggest mistake of our lives?

Finally, the alarm went off and I tried to pull my shit together to wake up the kids. I had to tell them what had happened and reassure them that all was okay, that their Dad wasn't even involved. As tempting as it is to pretend nothing happened, I know that they go to a school full of diplomat kids, all of whom know their dad is in Afghanistan, and chances were high that they would hear of a "US attack in Afghanistan". Also, I had to do it without bursting into tears. I put on my big girl panties and was casual and quick about it. And they were fine. Mitch finally called, and everyone got to talk to him before the bus arrived. The gardener showed up and he did get the hint about washing the car.

I am doing okay. Turns out, there was Xanax in the house.


Anonymous said...

Every attack breaks my heart. Part of the reason I left the FS was because I couldn't put on my big girl panties anymore. Maybe I thought leaving would make it less likely that I would find myself scouring the internet for word of friends/former colleagues (even ones I didn't know personally. That certainly didn't happen and my heart goes out to you for being so in the thick of it. I'm so glad everyone is okay.

eliseandpaul said...

xxxxx to you all.

Jess said...

You don't know me, but I have been reading your blog for years. Way back in 2010 I was on the register waiting to get hired for the Foreign Service so I started reading as many blogs as I could find that talked about life in the FS. Unfortunately my candidacy expired without me getting hired but I have continued to pursue it every year since then and I like to keep up with all of the blogs I started reading way back when. I am currently serving in the Army, while preparing to take the FSOT yet again next month. I just wanted to say that I love your blog, and I'm sorry that you are going through such a difficult time right now. I know how hard/scary/frustrating it can be to be separated from your loved ones, especially when they are far away in a potentially dangerous place. I just wanted to thank you and your family for making such sacrifices and for your service to our country. There are those of us who understand the difficulties of it and appreciate what you are doing. Thank you as well for being so generous as to share your experiences with total strangers via the web.