I left this post in draft mode for a month. Like many people in the United States, my life took a wild turn a few weeks ago as I planned my final days in California. The Covid-19 pandemic halted my move to Traverse City, rendered me homeless, and has taken my husband away from our family- indefinitely. There were a few weeks in March where I disassociated and can’t remember much. For the sake of sounding too dull, I’ll leave the details in the past- it’s not like I can remember them anyway.
Despite all the trauma and fear, there are a few wonderful things that happened- many of which I did not speak about openly on my blog beforehand. Life feels like a tornado. But the big news is that I’M PREGNANT. AGAIN. FOR THE FINAL TIME. I’M NOT DOING THIS SHIT ANYMORE. I had intended on rolling out this news story once we found out the gender, but we had our gender ultrasound during our move. So here I am, pulling this rabbit out of a hat several weeks later. He’s a boy. And we’re naming him Ares. We typically do not reveal the names of our children until they are born but since circumstances have changed, it feels inappropriate to keep the exciting (and typically, private) news to ourselves. The third baby has been far kinder to me than the other two. But he is due in mid-August and I hear Leos are not typically kind to anyone in their young years, so we’ll see.
Regardless of all the shit that keeps happening, I have had some amazing experiences that I would otherwise never have had. I’ve looked to government officials for guidance, our president for comedy, and the Department of Defense(DOD) for instruction. As a parent, I often find myself in situations where there are unfortunate and unfair options to choose from. In March, I was faced with the worst decisions I have ever had to make as a parent.I woke up early on March 9th. Grocery shopping is always shitty at the Commissary so I prefer to do it on Monday. I noticed it was busier than usual and many of the typical items were low. People were walking around in a daze in the Toilet Paper aisle- picking from the worst and most expensive options. I made light of it, choosing the shit-option to the inflated-options. The meat counter associate that I usually exchanged banter with explained that they were shutting down for a “remodel” and they were nearly out of all meat, poultry, and pork. The beans were gone- along with the rice, the water, and most of the paper products. I rushed through my shopping trip, cracking jokes with my kids to make them laugh. Their laughter makes me calm when I’m nervous.For the rest of the week, I feared the worst. I called friends and family and explained that it only took 2 weeks for Italy to shut down their country. I knew that our move was going to be impacted. Most of them brushed me off. On Friday, March 13th, the DOD explained their intentions of a travel ban that would not only stop our move, but prohibit me and the kids from leaving. The language of this travel ban stopped the movers from taking our belongings from our home that had previously been scheduled for March 25th. Our house was due to be sold and we learned that California offers no sellers protections to help them in situations like these.
The last 2 weeks in California were spent fighting with military housing, applying for apartments, requesting an appeal to continue our travel, and packing up our house. Since the DOD halted our orders to move, there was no sense in them sending movers out- so they left us with no options and no guidance. We learned that our travel waiver had been approved on March 24th. Our original move date was the 26th. Our house was being sold on March 30th whether we had our belongings packed or not. Thankfully, we were able to find a (shitty) moving company through the Navy’s resources and they packed our items (poorly) on the 26th.2 weeks from the date of learning about the travel ban, my family stood outside of our home and said our final goodbyes. Exactly 2 years to the date of purchasing our home, we were leaving it. It felt surreal to drive away from a place I poured my heart and soul into for years. It felt careless to be taking my kids across the entire country during the middle of a pandemic. It felt selfish of me to have my mother-in-law fly out to help me on the drive when I knew she could get sick just by being in the airport. But it has been 2 1/2 weeks since we arrived in Michigan. I self-quarantined with my children at my parents home in Mid-Michigan for the initial 14 days. Neither us, nor my mother-in-law, have symptoms of Covid-19. I am so thankful for her selflessness and concern in our travels. I could not have traveled 34 hours in 4 days without her. Not with 2 kids. Not during a pandemic. Not while being 20 weeks pregnant.
“Why wasn’t your husband traveling with you?”
Well. The funny thing about the military is that, despite the pandemic causing an insurmountable challenge to civilian families and military families alike, the military will ultimately protect their most valuable assets; their service members. This does not include the wives and children of those service members- not the wives with a broken leg, about go into labor by herself, not the children with special needs- just the service members. I’m not saying this to be resentful, I’m just being honest. Although our next station is in Traverse City, my husband and I drove our separate ways when we reached the end of our road. He headed East for training while the rest of us traveled North to Michigan.
I mentioned difficult decisions and shitty choices earlier on. There was never an option for us to stay together. The day before our waiver was approved, we were informed that ships were going under quarantine indefinitely. This is fairly public news at this point, so I feel comfortable saying that. This does not mean that anyone is sick. But this does mean that I’ve watched many of my friends say goodbye to their husbands this month. I’ve cried over the USS Theodore Roosevelt multiple times and the lack of help for sailors who contract this virus. I’ve prayed to God for the safety of my own husband who spent the last few weeks quarantined on a military base. I’ve looked to the actions of people in Michigan with outrage and bitterness as they pretend the limitations of our civil rights has only impacted them. If they only fucking knew. If they only had the insight to someone else’s life and the impact this has made on our entire country. They are so selfish and so misinformed.
The travel ban is inevitably being extend yet I am thankful for so much in this new life I have. I have toured the country with 0 traffic jams. I drove through Zion National Forest in Utah. I woke up in Carbondale, Colorado. I witnessed my mother-in-law interact with her grandchildren for what is perhaps the longest she has ever been around them in their entire lives. I never took my children into a public space during our trip (with the exception of potty breaks). We arrived safely to our destinations. We are all in good health. My parents are kind enough to allow us to stay in their home while we search for another. And my house in California is sold!
I am so happy that families are spending more time together. I am thankful that people are compromising and learning to be more self sufficient. I am proud of my generation for stepping up and forfeiting their conveniences and learning to live life at a lower means. We all are sacrificing for the greater good. Please continue to do what is best for the whole as opposed to the few. Please prioritize the health of others over your modern conveniences. In order to protect the few, everyone must continue to do the safe thing- stay inside.
PS DO NOT FUCKING TRAVEL ACROSS THE COUNTRY. I DID THIS BECAUSE I HAD TO, NOT BECAUSE I WANTED TO. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO STAY THE FUCK HOME AND NOT BE AN IDIOT.