The feels… They hurt: Stockholm

I have a note to myself that indicates I should remember that I wanted to write about that time a car came through a window of an establishment, narrowly missing me – as my next blog post returning from Reblogging Rae for the past two weeks.

Instead, it seems crass at the moment to write that today of all days – let alone I know have something much more pressing on my mind.

Of course, if you know me at all, you’d guess I am quite torn up about the terror attack in Stockholm today – but my feels are more nuanced than simply a concern for a city in general that I love.

Initially I found out that Svea had intended to visit that very department store after work today, but had been held up and was therefore not able to be there at the time the events unfolded.

I of course was relieved that she was nowhere near the scene (well not in the immediate vicinity) and while she was inconvenienced by being stuck at her office till well into the night, she otherwise was experiencing a blessing in disguise.

Thoughts ran through my head about how close it all was. Åhléns City was a department store I frequented with not only Svea, but Maja and Anneke as well when I lived in the Stockholm area. The unconfirmed shots some say were fired in Fridhemsplan? Well, that is where our high school is. It was just all too relatable an incident for comfort.

The worst of the feels came; however, when I learned that Maja was actually at the scene. She told both Svea and I through private messaging before she made any public announcement… Unlike Svea, she got off work early that day and decided to meet her husband in town for Fika (coffee break). He was not there yet, so she decided to go into Åhléns to browse until he arrived.

She reported that the fire alarm went off first and she quickly exited the building. She apparently did not see the truck coming towards her until a police officer yelled for everyone to run for their lives.

She ran until she reached Fridhemsplan where another police officer told her to get off the street as they believed gunmen to be on the rooftops.

She eventually made it home, obviously, or I wouldn’t have gotten her account of things…. I know she’s safe. I know they are both safe… I saw them both check in as safe, among the majority of my other Swedish friends, on Facebook before I even got to speak to them…

But have you ever listened to or read someone’s harrowing tale and felt the fear for yourself? Imagined what it would have been like to be in their shoes and lived the same event? Have you ever learned how close you were to losing a loved one in an instant only to realise they haven’t been lost after all? Realised that you can be joking with them the day before and telling your husband all about them the night before (as I had been doing), and they could be gone without warning the next?

I seem to have some kind of empathetic spirit, because I can recall other times my feels have taken over in such instances – like years ago some coworkers were relaying the story of a car accident they were all in together, how scary it was, and how lucky they were to be alive. I had to excuse myself from the table because I felt the tears coming on…

My feels have been hurting all afternoon while I’m trying to process today’s events. As I’m thinking on not only how Maja was nearly lost to not only me, but her husband and two young children. How if something like that could happen to her, it could happen to me and my family too.

You have no idea how grateful I am right now that Svea was stuck at work and that Maja made it out of the area alive and uninjured.

I want to share some of Maja’s words with you today. I assume she won’t mind as she made the post public… though she’d be asleep now so I can’t actually ask her 😉

Today for the first time in a long time I thought I’d go to town and grab a coffee with hubs since we both finished worked early, it started with a fire alarm and evacuations in Åhlens and ended with me running for my life as I saw this truck gunning for the crowd right towards me… thank you to the police man who shouted RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! ( spring för in i helvetet spring faaan!!!) if it wasn’t for you I don’t know if I would be here now. Thank you to the stranger hugging the distraught mom with the baby, thank you to all the strangers who helped with the girl having an epilepsy seizure , thank you to everyone who took a minute to make sure someone else is safe, thank you to the old lady on the buss who held my hand when she saw how shaken I was, thank you to all the amazing police officers who managed the panicked mob of people, thank you to all you who have opened up your homes, thank you for the man who instead of giving us directions gave us a ride so we could go get the kids, thank you to the people of Stockholm🙏🏻. #stockholmopen #stockholmislove #togetherwearestrong #love #countingblessings

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I need to go have a drink or three.

 

Reblogging Rae: Maja Memory #1

Post # 8 from my recycled series – This one is from May 2015, new pictures added 🙂

Booop Booop Booop – that’s my poor rendition of the skype ring tone – …Booop. Oh My God, Maja’s calling! “Hush up!” I say to the kids. Maja and I had been playing Skype tag for almost 6 months, finally a tangible chance to actually click that little phone icon and actually for realsies talk to BFF girl (#2)…and see her face even!

I just got off of Skype where Maja and I chatted for nearly an hour and a half. …Okay, more like two hours…. two and a half tops! We’ve been BFFs for 16 or so years now and I still learn new things about her every time we talk – and vice versa – and yet it is always so familiar and just the same when we talk.

Now, in addition to her 3 year old, she has a 4 month old. This baby is the main reason we hadn’t been able to do our regular skype dates over the past few months… but one glimpse of his poof of hair and his cockeyed grin and…well… who could be mad?

I made the observation, after shooing my kids to bed and after her littlest puked on her, that who knew? Who knew that we would end up one day, still friends, chatting away being mums and changing poopie nappies or getting puked on together? Even continents apart and we can still somewhat do this – be BFFs and raise kids together. My daughter, Emma, telling her daughter “I love you forever!” as she signed off and resigned herself to her bedtime. One day they’ll meet in person. My son and her daughter were born a month apart – so OBVIOUSLY we are arranging their marriage already 🙂 And then her baby son was born within a month of Svea’s daughter… so there you go. One day we’ll not only be BFFs, we’ll be family too… right? Right. Let us dream about it at least 😉

It’s just such a strange concept to think about the shenanigans we got up to (when she wasn’t grounded) in High School… and now we are Mums. Relatively upstanding ones at that. Our conversations don’t always make us appear as such, however; when we reminisce or reveal memories to one another that the other didn’t know about at the time.

Oh the words that have to be said in Swedish so our kids won’t catch on. But then mine go to bed and hers are in another room, so we let the expletives fly after a little while.

Today she pulled out the yearbooks. I lost mine many years ago in Hurricane Katrina – a sad sad day. I love pictures, I love memories – as if you couldn’t tell by now… losing my year books was a sad sad day. She held the pictures up to the screen for me to see, to remind me of someone she was telling me about that I didn’t remember… “Oh, yeah… him… Oh! There’s the kid that died!”

“WHAT? Who??”

“That one, in the sweater… no… over… yeah, yeah that one.”

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in the middle – kid that died

“How did I not know this?” She asked.

“You must have, Maja! He died in first year – got hit by a bus… remember? That’s how I got off the waiting list and into ESb in second semester… I took his spot.”

“What?!”

“Maja, seriously? It was your class first – how could you not have known that?”

“Maybe I did… I guess I just forgot…. Oo… Look, there’s Dan!”

“Haha, yup I remember that pic… that wasn’t even his class… he was in EN, remember? You’re gonna scan these for me, right?”

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The picture we were discussing. Dan is hidden in this ES3A photo, though he was actually in an EN3 class. (I won’t point him out so as to keep a semblance of privacy lol)

“Yeah, oh… AH!”

That’s when the boy puked on her.

We’ll take a pause while she wipes him up…

I learned some more specifics about the antics she got up to with John when I wasn’t around… I knew they hung out some back then, but didn’t have all the details. I learned about when she was in her excessive party days after Gymnasium, she met Owen Wilson and Axel Rose. …Starting to sound like maybe I should have stayed in Stockholm a little longer, huh?

I told her that though I saw several celebrities out and about in Stockholm when I was there – the one that sticks in my head is walking past Tomas Di Leva on the street… he turned and acknowledged me as he passed by. Doing a little bow. I told her he had this look on his face that made me feel like he wanted to say “Blessings on you my child” and then recruit me into a cult.

“He probably wanted you for a sister wife.”

I would rather have met Axel Rose.

Reblogging Rae: Svea’s Summer House in Sandhamn

Post #7 for my recycled posts series – this one is from March 2015. All new pictures added 🙂

Summertime in Sweden meant that the sun wouldn’t set, the weather would warm just enough to warrant swimming and apparel of tube tops and shorts… but rarely did it get too hot. Summertime also meant that there was cause to pack a bag and head out to Svea’s summer cabin on Sandhamn.

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One year we headed out there specifically to celebrate the midsummer holiday. Unlike the usual midsummer, Svea’s older brother nor her parents had any plans for the cabin, so Svea and I headed out there by ourselves. We liked it that way anyway. Some of my favorite memories are of playing house with Svea whether it be on Sandhamn, at her Winter house in Borka, or on the weekends in her Stockholm flat when her family would often be at one of the other locations.

The midsummer that we went to Sandhamn, we packed our bags, carefully choosing our alcoholic selection – which that year I recall as being pear ciders for the most part, and headed out to Slussen to catch our bus. The bus ride to or from Slussen was never my favourite leg of this trip. Most often the bus was over full and hot… and took about forty-five minutes to reach the harbour where we would catch our ferry.

Once at the harbour we were sometimes lucky to just catch the ferry without having to wait another thirty minutes for the next one to arrive. The ferry ride was always pleasant. Since we only ever rode it in the spring and summer, the weather was usually perfect. The sun reflecting off of the water, sometimes almost blindingly depending on the time of day.

We would sit and have drinks and chat. Never running out of things to say, that’s the way it goes with best friends I suppose. After a half hour or so, and a few stops at other islands, we would arrive at Sandhamn – getting off at the second pier. The first pier was large and was home to the tourist side of the island – a hotel, a few shops, yachts and music. Svea and I got off on the other side which was quiet and serene. It only took ten minutes or so to walk from her cabin to the tourist side when we needed groceries or an ice cream anyway. So we usually got into the cabin, set our stuff down, turned on the water supply, etc and then started off for the grocery store.

The ten minutes had us walking through lush green woods comprised of tall tall trees. The scenery in my memory I see as an almost mystical green. But the reality was not so remarkable, I suppose.

IMG_3627[1]When we reached the store we usually picked up just enough rations for the weekend so that we wouldn’t have to carry anything home. The only specific things I remember ever getting were tomatoes, cucumbers, and salt. This particular midsummer I recall slicing these tomatoes and cucumbers and arranging them on a plate as Svea and I laughed about something in the kitchen. We grabbed our ciders and packs of cigarettes and headed out to the deck where we laid out in the sun, sprinkling our veggies with salt and drinking our ciders in between puffs of smoke.

IMG_3624[1]The view from the deck was beautiful, we could see the water from there. The foreground was rocky, large flat rocks lead the way down to the beach, and the view was littered with a few trees to block one side of the view from our vantage point. I remember laying out that day and Svea telling me about a book she was reading. This was not an unusual occurrence, we both being heavy readers. This day Svea introduced me to the world of Mikael Niemi as she told me about “Populärmusik från Vittula.” Later this would become one of my favourite books… I now hold both the Swedish version and the English “Popular Music from Vittula” in an honored place on my bookshelf. Svea laughed this day as she described the mountaintop scene to me and I knew I would be reading it soon. Svea had impeccable taste in books as far as I was concerned.

That night, we decided to watch The Shining. For those of you that don’t know, this is a movie based off of a Stephen King novel. Back then both Svea and I enjoyed Stephen King. I do still find him an excellent writer, but my tastes have changed as far as recreational reading goes.

The mistake we made, as we settled in on the couch to watch it with our snacks and cream soda, was waiting til dark to watch it. The TV sat in front of a large window that gave us a view into the semi-darkness, even darker than you would expect from a Swedish summer since we were surrounded by trees. It’s also important to note that we would be required to go outside to get to the building that housed the toilet, and even if I could convince myself to hold it – the structure that held our bedroom area was out that door too.

I had read The Shining a while prior to this night. Generally when I read a Stephen King novel, or watch one of the movies for the first time a second viewing doesn’t bother me any more because I know what’s coming. This night; however, I had apparently forgotten a few plot developments since it had been awhile since having read the book.

Svea and I were curled under a blanket on the couch. We were surviving through the movie even as the creep factor raised as shadows out of the window seemed to move. Without giving too much away to anyone who has never seen it – we got to the part of the movie where the boy is trying to get away from something in one of the hotel rooms. He finally gets out of the room and shuts the door. I took a sigh of relief, loosened my grip on Svea’s leg, and brought down the blanket I had been half hiding my face behind. She turned and gave me a knowing look just as the arm suddenly came out and grabbed the boy and dragged him back in the room.

I screamed out “Jesus Christ!” in shock.

Svea started laughing.

“You could have warned me, you know!”

I made her accompany me to the bathroom before going to bed that night.

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Reblogging Rae: Anneke and Heather

Post #4 of my flashback/recycled posts – this one is from February 2015 – one of the very first memories I posted.

“It’s your turn to sit in the back, Rae.”

“Only if you put the top up!” I said as I climbed into the back of Heather’s convertible. It was the middle of Swedish winter and we had made Anneke ride in the back on the way there.

Heather liked to put her heat full blast, but had a notion that to make the heat really worth it the top should be down so the heater could blast away the cold. It was actually pretty comfortable that way – when you were sitting in the front. If you were allotted a back seat, you had to be sure to have your best hat and mittens.

“Anneke, for real though – let me borrow your hat. I left mine at home.”

Anneke grudgingly complied with my request, only because she had already suffered the backseat that evening and knew how cold it was. Now it was two hours later and even colder as night had truly set in. Not that it was all that much lighter earlier. After all, night fell around two or three PM this time of year.

Settled in and as comfortable as I could be, Anneke and I started in on Heather; teasing her about Per. Per and Heather were both leaders at our Young Life group there in Täby, though Per was Swedish, Heather was an American College student that was only supposed to be there for a couple of years.

Heather played along with our teasing – though she had been writing off what we had noticed as chemistry between them. (Turns out, eventually we would be proved right as Heather and Per got married and she stayed in Sweden indefinitely.)

She then deflected from herself by teasing Anneke about her crush on Anders. She said “Du vill kissa på honom!!” Anneke and I burst out laughing. Bless Heather and how hard she was trying to learn Swedish… She looked offended and asked what we were laughing at. “’Kissa’ sa du!” We choked as we giggled. She had told us that Anneke wanted to “piss” on him. “Menade du ‘Kyss??’” We asked her. “Did you mean ‘Kiss??’”

“I’m pretty certain I do not, in fact, want to piss on Anders.” Anneke said, laughing.

Reblogging Rae: Word F**kery

Post #2 for my recycling of my content series. This one is from June 2015… It contains some additional content.

I don’t know if it’s the insomnia I’ve had over the past few days, or simply the fact that I’ve been looking at and listening to other languages a lot this weekend. I have been listening to my Swedish music and reading a book in Swedish… and I also decided to start learning Estonian, so I have started to do a bit with that. Listening to music, looking up language basics, etc. Maybe my issue is a mixture of both no sleep and the immersion back into more-than-usual foreign interaction… but I have been having the strangest sensation.

Yesterday, as I was sitting at my desk – more than once I heard people in the hall talking and I could swear they were speaking a foreign language. Foreign in the way that I couldn’t understand what they were saying, even though I knew they are Australian and obviously speaking English. Though I had no issue if someone actually walked into my office and spoke to me directly.

My brain is fucking with me.

I have had similar issues in the past where I will read English words, but sound them out as a Swede would and then get so confused because it obviously then doesn’t make sense. After a moment I realize I’m reading English it all makes sense again.

Luckily Svea agrees this type of stuff happens to her constantly. She is always forgetting what language she is speaking or what language her current book she is reading is in. Good to know I am not alone! I’m sure it is worse for her since she has need to flip back and forth more often.

I recall a time back in High School that Svea was chatting to me and suddenly said “Oh! Sorry! I was speaking Swedish!” I laughed and told her she had been doing it for the last 20 minutes… and if I hadn’t understood her I would have told her.

Maja likes to fuck with me sometimes by writing English words in Swedish phonetics – so that if you were to read it aloud it would be English, but with a very thick Swedish accent.

Honestly, it makes me laugh every time. But the very first time I read English in a Swedish accent, it was through an Elvis comic in the Stockholm Metro paper. I had no idea what I was reading and I was so confused. I thought I had better say it out loud because it must be slang spelling – as a lot of comics do – (usually they spell like “Mej” instead of “Mig” for example.) I then realized, not only was I speaking English – but I was speaking very rude English with a thick, thick Swedish accent. This made me laugh even more heartily than the actual joke.

kt89r7ttsujfsuixe6opsfavluba3xbxagztervq4a28jaroxs31csw2pjesh

(These images were missing from the original post… But I found the exact comics I am referring to! Woo! Translations at the bottom 😉 )

**“Vaj ju nävär ansär ven aj kall?” Maja writes to me. “Ju sac!” She adds. I comment on how it makes me giggle every time and she tells me “Aj lajk to spik inglish vit ju.”

It makes me giggle – but now I think perhaps Maja just might be responsible for the fuckery in my head.

Thanks for that, Maja. Thanks a lot.

~~~~~~~~

Elvis translations – (in parentheses means it is actual Swedish) the Italics are the Swedish-accented English

Elvis comic #1: Panel 1: (But WTF) Do you suffer of a small manhood? Order our cockenlarger today! (Fucking junk mail!) Panel 2: No Thankyou, Motherfuckers – I don’t need it

Elvis comic #2: Panel #1: (Who are you writing to?)(Responding to junk mail. I’ve been invited to try Viagra and penis enlarging pump.) Panel #2: (and?) (What do you mean “and”? It’s offensive! I hope they think my reply is too) Why are you writing me? My cock is bigger than your whole family!

** “Why you never answer when I call?” …”You suck!” … “I like to speak English with you.”

“We are the Loudest Tooth Fairy”

I have gleaned permission from Dane to share with you a text conversation we had around midnight last night. I thought perhaps you guys would find it as amusing as I did. I’m tempted to just post screenshots with his real name blotted out… but that smacks of cheating on a writing blog… LOL Though that didn’t stop me putting a small part as the featured image… as if to prove to you my stories aren’t made up…? or something…? Haha

Anyway, the conversation officially started much earlier in the evening when I sent these pictures:

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With the note “Felt odd finally going back to an Old Chicago without you! Miss you bunches! :* ”

As a side note to give you some background – Old Chicago, as you can see, is a restaurant that specializes in Pizza and Beer (though they have various other pub foods as well.) They also run a “World Beer Tour” in which one drinks “110 unique beers from our stellar selection (duplicate beers do no apply)” in no particular time frame. Once you’ve done that, you get your name engraved onto their Wall of Foam (at whichever location you finished your tour at.) They also have various other “mini tours” during various parts of the year that you can earn swag by drinking those particular beers included in the mini tour.

All that being said: When Dane left Tennessee he had earned his name on the Wall of Foam no less than FIVE times. When you reach five at any particular location, the color of the metal tag that your name is engraved on that time changes. I believe; however, that his 5th was at a different location than our usual haunt in Clarksville. We went every Wednesday (well, he did – I just went often) with various friends and he usually strong armed me into going for lunch with him on Sundays… Ok, ok not really strong armed me per se… but… well… we’ll just say I didn’t argue when he declared we were going there after church lol. Most often we went on Sundays because he had something on his mind and wanted to talk to me over a beer.

After that 5th time, I lost track and honestly have no idea if he kept up the motivation to continue refinishing world tours over and over.

So to bring it back around… I sent him a text that dripped with nostalgia. A few hours later he responded like this:

Yay Old Chicago!

I’m super drunk with kin right now

This woke me up – usually I don’t go to bed till midnight or later, but I happened to fall asleep pretty early last night.

This started a bit of a back and forth as he explained what he was doing and who he was with – essentially he had been at a bar his cousin owns.

He explained the relation of said cousin:

dad’s oldest sisters son

Then he stated seemingly out of the blue:

Daughter lost first tooth.

Tacked on as if that explained further who said cousin was.

Yup, ok on the same page now 🙂

Cool

Are you tasked to be the tooth fairy? I responded.

With a hint of sulkiness coming through my screen, he wrote:

They won’t let me dump the pennies from my car under her pillow

The bed shook as I gulped back laughter that threatened to burst out loud. I didn’t want to wake my husband. I expressed this amusement as best I could through text:

Haha Haha! What a good use for them though!

Fuck I am drunk, was his natural reply.

Lol, not such a terrible thing.

At least you are texting me and not leaving drunk voicemails to people… maybe.

I said this thinking back to voicemails he has left to me in the past. One of which was an amazing opportunity to take the mickey out of him the next day… I’ll have to look and see if I’ve told you all about that before… Hmmm….

The conversation continued on for a bit in that drunk person can only focus on one thing at a time kind of jump-from-topic-to-topic fashion (well the conversation as a whole had that feeling.)

My job now is to wake up in time to shower for church, he said.

You can do it, I believe in you, I replied.

Thanks

No Worries

Their brita is so empty

Brita? I queried

… I was legitimately confused but he quickly changed subject (reading back now I realise he meant their water pitcher – he tends to drink masses amounts of water right before bed after a night of drinking.)

And this is where the featured image comes in – he jumped back to the tooth fairy topic.

We are the loudest tooth fairy

I can’t deny that made me smile…

We? Am I being a tooth fairy with you?

Yaaay!

Oops Shhh

(I knew he probably meant he and his cousin… but it’s fun playing with drunk Dane… and did think maybe part of his loudness was his phone going off lol)

Thank goodness, kin made up a bed for me, he jumped topic again.

PS How cute is it that he uses the word “kin” as a pronoun? haha

They love you, of course they did.

Going to sleep now?

Holy shit, Raiders of the Lost Ark is on Amazon

Well obviously you got to stay up and watch it…

Unless you need to get up for church… then…

They are not amused, he informed me.

Psssh you’re hilarious when you’re drunk.

Tell them that.

Because I’m an instigator – that’s why… and I could just imagine him insisting he’s hilarious Hahaha

aaaaand End Scene.

That’s enough of that, you don’t need our “good nights” etc.  I must say though that I love having Dane back in my life… Not that he was gone before, well not except for that 2 year period after “the fight,” but I mean having him in real time again. Having the ability to text since he very very rarely uses messanger or other similar apps… Just having him the next state over is awesome… Hopefully that means we can see each other face to face sometime in the near future.

That text stream last night reminded me of old times… It’s been too long since I’ve been even remotely included in Dane-shenanigans, haha. I’d give almost anything to get another weekend, happily inebriated and in the company of Best Friend Boy 🙂

 

 

 

Cycle of abuse and Maraschino Cherries

In keeping with the themes this week, I told a friend that I planned to write about another friend I lost touch with and hoped one day to find again just like Vlad. This girl; however, was much closer to me – a Best Friend.

Before I sat to write this, I decided to do a random Facebook search again and… I found her! Currently I am waiting on a response from her, so hopefully my message won’t get lost in the mystery filtered request folder never to be seen by her… It shouldn’t as it didn’t warn me that it would go there and we also have a mutual friend… soooo Fingers Crossed 🙂

Well, now I’m going to go ahead and tell you briefly about her – though I no longer want to plea to the ether to help me find her. However, I’ll be changing her name this time; unlike Vlad 🙂

Christina and I met in Ethiopia. She was a missionary kid that I met through church – she lived on a missionary compound and she didn’t go to my school.

I don’t remember exactly how it happened; how we became friends in the first place… But I do remember being over at her house to hang out and as we talked we found a connection. We found that we had similar feelings and ideas – we found that we both felt out of place with our evangelical peers much of the time. We spoke animatedly jumping from topic to topic…. until it was decided I MUST sleep over. LOL

I mentioned before when I was judged, shamed, and rejected by the other evangelical youth girls over a sexual joke and that only one girl laughed – That was Christina.

She was the one person in that church I could continue to trust and feel at ease with.

When I left Ethiopia in 1998, very few people had email addresses and the like – I did, but not many of my friends did yet – so we fell out of touch a little too quickly.

A fair handful of years later my Dad found reference to her online and sent the information to me – this included an email address – so I was able to contact her again. This was around 2006.

We connected again and caught up excitedly – sending pictures back and forth and exchanging phone numbers. I was heartbroken to find out that she was in an abusive marriage. She told me about him choking her, throwing her down stairs, holding a knife to her throat. She told me it was all a regular occurrence… She didn’t know what to do. She felt that if only he’d get help that maybe their marriage could be salvaged… They were both in the military and she wanted him to get help, yet she knew if she reported the behavior it could affect his career… She wanted him to stop, she feared for her life, yet cared enough about him to not want to ruin his career. But if she didn’t report it and it wasn’t made mandatory, he’d never go. She was scared of him and his reactions obviously as well. She clearly was trapped in a cycle of abuse.

I didn’t know how to help her. I tried to ask another military member from the same branch that I knew for advice – if there was a way through the military that she could get the outcome she was looking for… I got a very unfeeling, disinterested reaction and a statement that she should just report him.

The way it was said to me, I knew this person had no understanding of the delicate nature of the state of mind a woman trapped in such a cycle. This person clearly thought that my friend must be an idiot for not just leaving and besides which,  it’s not news to hear of abuse in military relationships. 

Sigh.

All I could do was support her as best I could and try to encourage her to leave him any way she could. I tried to encourage the thought that her very life as well as her baby’s was much more important than him keeping his military career.

Shortly thereafter, we lost touch again. One day I tried to email her – I’m not sure how long it had been… I’m notoriously bad at keeping up with friends via email on a regular basis. But I tried this email address… One that she shared with her husband… She had said he never actually used it… However… it no longer worked. The phone number I had was either lost or didn’t work anymore, I can’t remember which. (I have a feeling it was lost in a cell phone that ceased to work for me…) I haven’t heard from her since.

I’ve tried a few times to look her up on Facebook, Google, attempt the email address again in vain… I feared the worst, but periodically she would come across my mind and I’d try again.

Well, I am happy to say, that even if she doesn’t respond anytime soon, that from what I can see on her Facebook page – she looks happy, she looks healthy… and she is engaged to someone completely different (looks like a nice man at least…) So she clearly got out of her abusive relationship. This has caused a glimmer of happiness in an otherwise sucky day.

As such I decided this evening that I deserved a drink, so I made myself an Amaretto Sour with extra Maraschino cherries

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and then decided that strawberries and whipped cream would go well with said drink

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A bit of taking my mind off of the negativity as well as somewhat of a celebration in the knowledge that Christina is alive and well 😊

Ahhhh… That hit the spot 😉

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 **PS this was written and scheduled two days ago – she has since accepted my friend request 😉😊🎉