Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Alone Time

Today has been such a typical Walter Reed day. I awoke this morning to the high-pitched clangor of my cell phone. As usual it rang before my alarm could even think about going off. I laid in bed staring at the caller id wishing it was a family member that I could quietly ignore for the time being and drift back off to sleep. Instead it was... as it always seems to be... a number that I had never seen before in my life. Reluctantly I took the call hoping it would be someone I could quickly escape from. No luck. Thus a new day dawned at Walter Reed and it was time to roll out of bed, glue on my everything is fine face, and meet the world with ceaseless "enthusiasm."

It's now 11:51 am and already my phone has rang ten times. In between phone calls I was able to sneak in a shower. I gave up on trying to dry my hair and curl it. I didn't even put makeup on today. I just ran out the door and met J.R. in occupational therapy. I arrived just in time to see my husband run off on a field trip with fellow soldiers to Home Depot. I can only pray that the therapist taking J.R. into that store knows what he is in for. Many times have I been suckered into a "quick" run to Home Depot only to follow my husband as he continues his quest to own every tool known to man kind. This often takes a short eternity leaving me tired, crabby, and poor. But today I can sit back and enjoy some time alone as he bonds with men wearing orange aprons.

Thinking that I could escape to the solitude of my room for a while I hurried back to the Fisher House for a few hours of peace and quiet. I poured my bowl of cheerios, grabbed some yogurt, and sat down for what I was hoping would be an uneventful lunch. No such luck. I was no more than two bites into my cereal when the back door opened and in walked a middle aged couple. Having never seen them before I paid very little attention as they walked into the house. And then I heard it... the words I dread the most.... "You must be Josie." I looked them up and down trying to figure out if I had met them before. With a mouth full of cheerios I said hello and did my best to make conversation. Apparently they heard about me from a woman I met over two weeks ago. This woman told them all about J.R. and our "amazing" story of recovery. I was trapped. A full bowl of cereal to go and two strange people sitting at the table with me. Longing for alone time in my room I quickly answered questions. After finishing my bowl of cereal I excused myself to my room.

I've now had almost one whole hour to sit by myself in my cracker box with my computer and think about absolutely nothing. My phone is on silent and the pile of paperwork to finish is still sitting untouched on my desk. Later this afternoon I will deal with the headache of finance and orders but until then I'm going to relax and take some time for me.


CRF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CRF said...

Hi Josie, glad to see you got a site of your own! Hope you have a chance to enjoy your down time. I don't get much of that at home either. Though I have accumulated a storage box full of stuff to scrapbook with when I do find the time! I had better get back to work, it is the first of the month and I have to get the checks in the mail. God Bless to the both of you!

JR'S Mom said...

Hey Josie
Thank you so very much for taking care of JR. I know it has been tough on you.....you are an awesome daughter-in-law, and we love you. See you in a couple of weeks - time to go shopping while the guys are busy - my treat!! Love you.

Tracy said...

Hey Josie! I hope you were able to relax a little today!

I can't imagine not being able to eat in peace. Well, I can, but the little rugrats that interrupt me are related to me so I guess that is different :) Seriously, eating with complete strangers must be frustrating.

I hope your phone stays silent tomorrow! (at least for awhile)

And, I totally understand you about the Home Depot trips. I always leave crabby too!

Nathan said...

Hi Josie & JR hope everything is going well for the two of you. Hopefully I'll be out of Iraq sooner then later. I hope you're getting your time to relax, it must be really stressful. Please take good care of J.R. for me I'm looking forward to seeing him again and meeting you for the first time. Well just thought I would check in and see how are you are doing. I will continue to pray for the both of you in the mean time try to relax alittle. God Bless the two of you.

SPC Fahlin, Nathan

Sean from DocintheBox said...

It was great meeting the both of you, hit me up if you need anything or feel like vacationing in San Diego, we have a spare room.

Consul-At-Arms said...

Nice meeting you at the end of the Milblogger Conference. I've linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2007/05/milblogger-conference-wrap-up.html

Solo said...

Wish I could get you and JR out here for awhile. I know of some peaceful places where y'all could relax for a bit. Of course I know of a lot of cool places to go tool droolin' too! ;)

barrybayport said...

A big thank you to JR for serving his country & you for supporting your husband through this trying time. I began reading JR's blog shortly before the attack. I.m looking forward to seeing the story of your whole ordeal on tonights local news,(St. Paul area).Best of luck to you & your family.

Anonymous said...

Hey Josie. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. You'll never be able to take care of JR or your marriage if you can't take care of yourself properly. This includes making as much as an effort as possible to get some alone time. As hard as it is, you CAN do it. Eat your cheerios in the cracker box if you have to, but save your sanity, girl!!! :-) Make some boundaries for yourself; you have way too much on your plate as it is.
Good luck. I can't wait to meet you someday!

Phoenix said...

Hey.. it's late.. and I can't sleep. So much to write, but as always, I'm paralyzed by not feeling like I can say all that I want to say.. in the way I want to say it.. so that people can read in it, what I want them to read.


It was really really great meeting you both.. I'm so glad I finally made the effort!

See ya both again soon.. and don't stop writing. You're off to an incredible start!

Night to ya both!

Scott said...

Josie, great to see your perspective on life out in DC. Got to see the news story from Fox 9 (Beth posted it in her AIM away message). Powerful. Your writing is very good, I hope you know. Get time for yourself, whenever and wherever possible. Are you two just so popular out there that everyone comes to see you/talk to you? Keep up the writing. *hug*

Anonymous said...

You let him go to Home Depot without proper supervision? What were you thinking??? The next thing you know, he'll be practicing sharpshooting with the air-nailer again. Hahahaha. Take care!

Anonymous said...

Words can not express the gratitude I feel inside when I read your posts. The sacrifices that your husband and you have made, and continue to make everyday, on behalf of our country, are clear examples of why the United States of America is and will remain the greatest nation in the world. For every tear you've shed and every heartache you've felt and every sleepless night that you've lied awake, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the woman that stands behind the American Solider that keeps me free.


Anonymous said...


It was a pleasure meeting both you and JR (albeit briefly) at the conference. I meant what I offered, by the way, about visiting NYC if things get too stressful for the two of you in DC.

My wife says that due to the way things are (construction) it would have to be after July 4, but my offer stands.

Lex, Blackfive, and Patti Bader will all vouch for me and my wife.

Soldiers Angels, NYC

AFSister said...

Hi Josie!
I was thrilled to see that you and JR were planning on attending the Milblog Conference, and even more thrilled when I saw you both there and had a short convo with you. JR's flame-painted arm is very unique!
You both looked drained, but happy to be out and able to share time with the milblogging community. Thank you so much for attending and for gratiously talking to so many of us!

You're both in my heart and on my mind. Keep working on that hand. Nerve damage is bitch, but I'm hoping that with some time you'll regain most functions of your left hand.

Hope to meet up with you again sometime! If you ever get to Cincinnati, look me up! I'll hook you up!

Robin said...

Hi Josie, I was at the Milblog conference and didn't get a chance to introduce myself because there were so many people gathered around you and JR. So I just stood back and listened. I couldn't help but notice the quiet digity and strength you had as you stood by JR's side. Made me want to pull you away and give you a big Army Mom hug.
God Bless You
Keep writing. {{{HUG}}}

MaryAnn said...


Was great to give you and JR a hug at the conf. Hope I was able to settle that argument about surgery in Germany. Leave it to a man to believe his memory is better than ours in spite of being completely loopy during his stay here.

Enjoy your time with the girls this week!

hil'smom said...

Hi Josie,
I was happy to find this website. I think about you and JR and pray for you often. I've been enjoying some time visiting with Anthony and Hilary. They are at his Moms through this weekend for his step-sisters wedding. I suppose I have to share them. Your Mom came by for the little get-to-gether we had this past Saturday. I'm planning on coming by Tuesday night to see you. I was just thinking about you and Hilary and how drasticaly your lives have changed because of the men you've married. Someday maybe God will share his plan behind all of this to you. I'm sure you'ld like an explanation.
Love and Hugs to you..see you soon.
Cheryl Jordan

Cat is my copilot said...

Hi Josie!
It was great speaking with you and JR at the MilBlog Conference (especially since EVERYONE wanted to speak with you both and you graciously made time for everyone) :). Just wanted to say Hi and that I am happy to know you started this blog.

Truly, what an honor and a pleasure to meet you both. You are amazing, special people, and are much beloved (deservedly so).

And I'll echo Sean's offer--if you ever visit Seattle I'd be happy to be a tour guide, or arrange for you to stay cost-free in a close friends's beautiful beach house on Vashon Island (alone, not with me--haha!). I've spent a few weekends there and it's a fabulous place to relax & rejuvenate.

Maureen Lassiter said...

Hey Josie Girl:
Just came across your blog and the story about your husband. I am a fairly new Soldier's Angel, and I want to tell you that I SUPPORT YOU 100%.

Both you and your husband are strong, courageous, warriors, and angels, yourselves.

I will keep you both in my prayers, and if you want to chat...give me a shout, I'm in Calif.