*In a Nut Shell · *Navy Life

Setting Sail OUT Of The Navy

During our year in Virginia, while Lowell was stationed on the Harry S. Truman, we faced a lot of heartache and frustrations. As soon as we got settled, Lowell’s family found out they had to move to Pennsylvania for the business reasons. So, our support system of help and family left us very much alone at a time when Lowell started leaving for 3 +/- weeks at a time. He would come home for a few days, and leave again… it was rough. It was rough watching my kids unravel. To understand, but not understand, what Daddy’s job was now calling for him to do. I know I only survived my heartache by God’s grace, the help of Lowell’s brother who helped me a lot, and many glasses of wine. It was during that time that I started to pray that we just find an early exit from our contract. We were supposed to be in until September 2014, but I was not about to face basically two more years of that life. So, in addition to my prayer that God would never deploy Lowell (that I’d prayed everyday since he left for basic training), I started praying for a way out. I put St. Rita on the case for me. I knew it was an impossible situation, so I needed a specialist.

In January, last year, Lowell started to really get concerned about leaving me alone while he floated around the globe for 8-10 months, being diabetic and with 4 little kids at home. We weren’t very close to our neighbors, our closest friends were getting ready to move, and none of our siblings were old enough or available to uproot their lives to come be around in the event something should happen to me. Diabetic attacks don’t happen often, but when they do, it is a big deal and there is no way that Faith, who was barely 6, would be ‘man enough’ to take me on in that state. Not to mention, if she were to call 911 and paramedics came for me, CPS would come for my kids until I was “stable” and no thanks, but I would rather avoid that like the plague. Our kids know that something can happen and I can act “funny” but if I slip too far, I need capable help. My family was an 8 hour flight away, and Lowell’s family was an 8 hour drive away… Anyway, Lowell started routing paperwork to get a transfer to San Diego because my family is pretty much stationary and would be a little over an hour away should an emergency arise. Well, we went through ALOT of slack about that. They said Lowell was trying to get out, take advantage of his situation, etc. He said he was more than willing to complete his contract, but he wanted assurance we would be okay while he was away. He explained his family, our support system, were forced to move and now we were alone, and diabetes is unpredictable, especially under stress (like the stress of being a single mom with a husband floating around in the ocean and maybe sending a one sentence email every few days…). We had folks investigate our case, and due to the hardship of our situation, we were discharged on March 1 and were left scrambling to figure out, what next?

**While all of this was happening, we were also preparing for Lowell to deploy. He was to leave on February 7th. I kept praying, I wanted him to stay and I wanted out, (yeah, I didn’t want to go to San Diego on their dime…). The night before he was to leave, February 6th, I got a text from my friend. “I can’t believe it!! God is so good!” and I was like, “Um, okay. Yay! God is good! What are we talking about??” and she texted me a link. I opened it and there was the Truman’s captain, making news: The Truman will not deploy on it’s scheduled deployment due to lack of military funds. The deployment is delayed until a later time” WHAT?! I laughed and cried. I was numbed by the amount of emotions that flooded over me! I searched and researched the story to make sure I wasn’t being duped. But, God had heard my cry, my begging Him. He heard me of all people He can listen to. (yes, I know He hears us all, but it was truly humbling! Or, He really heard our kids innocent prayer when they approached the Manger Scene on Christmas morning after Mass and asked The Precious Infant to please let their Daddy stay home. To say I wiped A Tear away is far from the true waterworks that came from my eyeballs and aching heart for them that morning!) Anyway, it was actually quite a devastation to all the other 4,999 +/- sailors aboard the Truman. Many of them had sent their wives and children home to their families out of state, put their household goods/vehicles in storage, cancelled leases on homes/apartments, etc. They had already picked up the air wing from Jacksonville, FL, too, so all those sailors had to be brought back to their lives in Florida, and like the rest of Truman’s sailors, had to figure out their next plan of action. And, had to figure how long that plan of action was to last. But, me? I was doing a happy dance!**

We were released from the chains of the military with documentation stating the only way Lowell could go back would be by my death or a legal divorce. My health got us in and my health got us out. Such irony! But, because they discharged Lowell instead of relocating him to finish his contract, we had to act fast. In a nutshell, of 2 weeks, we painted and packed our home, listed it for rent, and headed west. Oh, we were also surprised to find out we would make these changes, not as a party of 6 but, as a party of 7. Yeah, God wanted to let us know just how much He loved and trusted us in our trusting Him ;).

Our weary family arrived in So Cal after a long, annoying trip across the country. Our trailer, that we crammed our whole life in to, malfunctioned and had one problem after the next. We finally broke it completely in Needles and loaded some of our things into a U-Haul and left the rest in the broken thing in a good Samaritan’s yard for a few months until we got the part we needed to get that bad boy home. Lowell had to fly back to VA and wrap up a few more things and drive our pickup west as well.

Lowell had unsteady work from April until the end of July. We will always be grateful to my family for taking us in and helping us out in such a HUGE way! I can only imagine how hard it was to take on a hormonal pregnant lady, a man frustrated by not finding work, and their 4 very young kids. Lowell went to a job fair in July and was hired on the spot for a company that specializes in emergency backup power for municipalities, communications, hospitals, military bases, etc.  They sell, service, and build batteries that are used in power outages or just everyday use, like the subway system in Los Angeles. He was hired as the Service Manager and is basically one of the top ranking people in the company. His nuclear and top secret background in the Navy really helped seal the deal on the deal. We were then able to save some money and branch out on our own again in September.

2013 was exciting, but the toughest year we’ve seen yet. However, we survived to tell the tale and will always thank the Lord for His bountiful gifts and countless blessings during that time.

God is good, all the time!! All the time, God is good!!

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