So, my October 13 celebration/grieving was a bust… My wife warned me that this would happen. Another testament to how one should always listen to one’s spouse. Typically, I would have a home office in which I could write, stream some shows and be alone with my thoughts. This usually allows me to reflect and think back on my past experiences and what has brought me here. This year, since our basement isn’t completed, I had nowhere to go besides our living room. And that seemed to fall short for what I’ve usually done in the past.
Once supper was served, I was able to coax my son Nathan with the promise of holding on to his device if he completed a couple of homework tasks on it first. He agreed I got him squared away in his room with water and snack. Check. The youngest, however… Our evenings are typically on the quieter side since Alexander is usually pretty calm when his older brother Nathan isn’t in the picture. But for some reason, either because there was a full moon I was aware of or some stars aligned against me, or perhaps we can simply go with my usual belief that life doesn’t care about one’s plan, he was a roiling Tasmanian Devil of energy and was destroying everything in sight.
By the time we managed to get him to actually go to bed, I was physically and emotionally exhausted (not from him) and just wanted to go to bed. Which I did. Like an old man. Then I slept for over 11 hours, leaving behind the last instance of celebrating the day I completed basic training and took to the field. I’d like to say it was a restful sleep, but I woke up the next morning feeling as though I had been struck by a freight train. This is a testament to the fact that one can potentially sleep TOO long.
I did get one silver lining on Wednesday, which came in the form of an old troop mate reaching out to me: Randy Tabada. Y’all may remember Tabada, if you read the post I wrote back in February of 2020. If you didn’t, you can read it here. Tabada was a member of my troop during basic training. Our bunks were across the aisle from one another and he was one of the few select people from our troop that I actually spent time with, outside of the training environment. When he came back to Regina in February of 2020 to take some courses at the academy, I had the opportunity to share a meal and fond memories with him.
It was wonderful to get his phone call and reconnect with him. We discussed a number of outstanding issues that we’ve both been facing and we agreed how it was a little sad that out of a troop of 32, neither of us really had contact with anyone besides each other. I recall making an effort to reach out to everybody prior to our 10-year anniversary with the intention of organizing a reunion. I sent out a feeler email to see who would be amenable to getting together. The negative response was almost unanimous, which was a little sad.
At the end of the day, I didn’t get to observe my special day the way I would have chosen. Such is life. Although my intention is to rediscover myself and find out who I am outside of my previous career, I knew there wouldn’t be some climactic revelation or fireworks involved. But given that I’m now a veteran, it would have been nice to reminisce in my own way, one last time. Especially since my intention is to prohibit Fireball (or most other forms of alcohol) from ever entering this house again. I’m a veteran. It feels weird to say. It’s a title I usually always associated with my grandfather, but one that I’ll carry with pride. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to step out into the world and discover who I am. Or rather, who I may become…☯️