Posts Tagged With: Moving

Division of Me and MrsUSN

Well, it was never my original intention for this to be one of those blogs where I use it as a personal journal. That’s why no names, no rate, no rank, none of that have been used.  But– life happens.  Anyone who has been  a military spouse knows, life (and Murphy’s Law) tend to ‘happen’ at the worst possible times. Or so we think at the time– somehow they always end up being blessings in disguise. Heavy disguise. Invisible Man levels of disguise…

Anyhow– Initially, I wanted this blog to chronicle our move to Hawaii and all the chaos involved in that. I had no idea life would toss us a curve ball like this one. My dad was diagnosed this week with a Metastatic Malignant Melanoma, I mentioned it yesterday. Well, obviously this has really screwed with my chi. To put it mildly. But part of this crazy life (Mil or Civ) is adapting, improvising adn overcoming. This is one of those moments where ones’ tuck n’ roll skills are really important.

Since SeaMonkey is away, adn I am handling this move and now this, a sick parent– I’m going to need this blog to pull double duty for me. I understand, not everyone wants to read about my personal life, and admittedly- I don’t expect it will be anything thrilling. But it’s a vent. It’s a place for me to keep sane during this craziness. So, I’ve added a page to this blog– the division of me adn MrsUSN. When you go to mrsusn.com you will find my moving info. If you want to know how I (personally) am doing– I’ve added a page.. In the menu on the right just click ‘Brain Salad’ and you can see whats in my head lately. Hopefully this will keep my blog relevant to strangers looking for moving advice, or friends/family wondering how I’m doing.

****03/10/14  EDIT: I had to remove the ‘Personal’ Page–simply because I coudln’t find a way to send my updated posts directly to it. Everything defaults to the main page. SO, buckle up or get off the ride, because it looks like anyone who stays is in for both the personal and more public sides of my life. **** ❤ Mrs.USN ****

In the meantime, please enjoy this pitiful look at how my packout went the other day. 2 Days into dads diagnoses, I just couldn’t think straight. As is evident by this shipping manifesto… (go ahead, count how many folding chairs and coffeemakers I packed! ) It truly is ridiculous.  (FYI: the bins marked ‘clothing’ were actually just beach towels. Yeah, beach towels. No clothes were packed…)

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I need more time…

Holy hell what a week…

So, this week (from Wednesday on) will go down in the books as the WORST week of my life, thus far. Wednesday, I got a text from my mom “Dr’s office called, bad news, both gotta go in. Uh oh.”  So, needless to say, THAT was on my mind. That evening I found out just how bad the news could be… My healthy as a horse dad, was just diagnosed with Malignant Nodular Melanoma, Stage t4b.  I hate that I didn’t have to ask what that meant. For the uninitiated, cancer runs on a scaling system of 0-4. t4b means tumours, stage 4, and the b indicates a likely spread to organs. My folks walked into the office expecting to hear ‘you need to have surgery’ and walked out with my dad only having 4 months to live.  4. Months. 4  months.

I don’t think I have to tell you, I went to pieces. Still am. We all are.

How am I supposed to move halfway around the world away from them right now?! I just want to go down there and be there for them, and help them in any way I possibly can. But I can’t, not yet. I have to move my house, ship his car, hire the property manager, rent my house, and give my notice at work.

So, after 2 days of pretty much non-stop sobbing I came up with my tentative plan. I need to save my dad. I’m not ready for goodbye. I called HR for my school district today and got my leave balance: 35 days. I asked the hardest question: “Can I use my sick leave for a terminally ill parent?”  The answer lifted a weight: YES.  I know right about now you are probably thinking ‘What about FMLA?’– well, FMLA goes into effect AFTER you have used up your own leave. It also is unpaid and really just exists to protect employees jobs, should they need extended leave. I’m not coming back here. I don’t need it. What that 35 days WILL allow me however, (with a doctors note explaining this) is to leave as soon as the packers move me out. I’ll head straight for my parents home, down in FL. I will use my last 3 weeks stateside to be with them. I need to be there.  Additionally, what I will be able to do is give my “last day” as May 1, so I can still be on payroll, but use my sick leave for the month of April and still get a paycheck. That last paycheck is how I will be able to afford to fly home if dad loses this battle. Which he can’t. He just can’t.

I spoke to my sister and brother (Seattle and Rome,Italy) and we’ve decided to spend “St.Paddy’s with Daddy.” So we will all be converging on them at the same time, flying in from our various points on the globe. He will be one month past diagnoses and should be already following whatever agreed upon protocols it takes to fix this. I’m guessing he’ll be feeling it by then, so having all 3 of us home to help should be good for both him and mom. The part I’m dreading though, is going to be when I have to get in the car and leave. At some point, I will have to leave for my cross country trek and then board the plane that takes me so far away from him. I hate it so much. This move that I was excited about, is suddenly weighing so heavily on me. SO much is depending on how his treatments go and how he responds to them. I’ve found cases of Stage 4b’s actually recovering! I HAVE! It’s not a big percentage, but it’s big enough for me to have faith. And pray. Not gonna lie– right now, I’m taking prayers, wishes, karma, light and love, and anything else anyone is willing to give to keep my dad.

Meantime– today was my UB packout. You’ll forgive me if this wasn’t a priority?

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In a nutshell: I didn’t pack. I haven’t slept since Tuesday night. I’m a hot mess. Packing did not happen. Since sleep didn’t go so well either though, I was up early and tried again to pack. I grabbed some of the Rubbermaid tubs I have saved from so many moves, and started throwing things in them. Now, mind you, the UB packout is supposed to be things you need to set up your new home. The vitals. What did I consider vital this morning? Sigh… yeah. Not much. As a result, when this shipment arrives in HI — opening these boxes will be like Christmas in the Alzheimer’s ward.  I say that not as any kind of insult to anyone with Alzheimers, but simply a commentary on how random my packing was this morning. Example: one box, labeled by the movers: “Dog beds and Griddle.” Because, you know, I TOTALLY kept those items together.  (What?!)

Sigh.

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Sigh.

Sigh.

I already warned the SeaMonkey– I’m pretty sure I packed a coffeepot, linens, a beach cabana, and about 65 folding chairs. Don’t ask. I was (and am) distracted.

Oh, I failed to mention the part where I fell apart on the movers. Yeah, that was magical. One of the movers was about to remove a strip of blue painters tape from one of my rubbermaids and I flipped out. On the tape, in my dads neat-but skritchy handwriting were the words “Muffin Pans”. I flipped out. “NO! Don’t take that off!! My dad wrote it…” and I fell apart , before managing to squeak out “…he’s stage 4.”  He understood immediately, and bless that man, he took clear packing tape and covered the painters tape. “We’ll protect it. It will be there when you get to Hawaii. And I’m sorry about your dad.”

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One thing I am always amazed by— when confronted with cancer, even in a stranger, people are compassionate and want to help. This man had been in my house for 30 minutes, I blew up on him over a piece of tape, and he was still so kind and took measures to protect what was so important to me at hte moment.

A little kindness and understanding really do go a long way. ❤

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Comin’ up quick…!

So, this week.

OH, this week.

This week? Oh NO!

Whats on this weeks agenda…? Well, I’ll be interviewing potential property managers, packing out another load of stuff for goodwill, getting the info on shipping the SeaMonkeyMobile, getting said SMMObile ready to ship (oil change, nearly empty tank, replace windshield, deliver to port…), waiting for the call that says when the movers are coming, pay for the pet movers and car shipping, do our taxes,  and —oh yeah!— packout on Friday!!!

Wait…what?

Yup. First Packout (UB) goes out on Friday. What that means is, all the urgently needed crap goes first. (Urgently needed in HI but somehow not here for the remaining  6 weeks..?) Wait.. 6 weeks?!?!?

OMG. Shit’s gettin’ real folks. I am moving to a tropical island in the South Pacific in a few weeks time. I had a feeling this was going to happen fast, even when it seemed like it was forever away. I think that has something to do with SeaMonkey being gone. Deployments, schools, underways, field-ex’s, whatever the reason he’s gone– we dread them and hate all the lost time, but somehow, they always go SO fast.  I might be an anomaly. I seem to always be hearing or bumping into wives who are CONSTANTLY bemoaning their husbands absences. Don’t get me wrong, I hate that he’s gone, but I understand it’s not personal. He’s off to work. I’m pretty sure this is what it must have been like for Lois Lane and Superman. She understood, when he took his glasses off and put on his spandex (er…SuperSuit?) he was off to do his job. She just hoped at the end of the day, he would be home, take off his cape and put on his Clark Kent flannel PJ’s. That was their time.

This doesn’t mean, I don’t wish he were here to handle some of this…He is going to owe me SO big for this….

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Oh IZ…. you sing it, big guy!

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