What a difference a day makes! This morning, the phone rang at 5:00 AM. I was lying bed, languishing in that dazed, not-quite-awake state of being when it happened. Usually when we receive calls at odd hours, it is our daughter, Amy, who lives in Okinawa. Since Japan is 14 hours ahead of us, it is always early morning or middle of the night, Chicago time, when we hear from her.
For the first time in several weeks, she sounded great--healthy and relatively happy. She still wants to transfer out to another base, but she seems as if she is making some adjustments. The fact that her fiance visited her for a couple days over the 4th of July weekend helped with this, I'm sure. It had been several months since they were able to see each other in person, much less hold hands and hug. It was good for both of them, I believe, and so, as a result, it was good for me.
It is the most difficult thing for a mother to see her child, no matter what the age, suffering and unhappy. Especially when there is absolutely nothing that mom can do to provide even comfort, much less real change. The last few phone calls were painful for all of us. The suffering, doubt and overwhelming loneliness were clearly expressed in her words and tone of voice. Hearing her sob into the phone was the worst! I've never felt so completely helpless. If she were in the U.S., I would have jumped on a plane to go and visit her, figuring things out along the way. But to fly to Okinawa is not only cost prohibitive, but prohibited by language and geography as well. Where would I fly to? How far is the base from the airport and how will I get there? Not to mention that you can't just walk onto a military base, "Okay, I'm here for a visit. Let me in!" I resigned myself to the reality that I was stuck at home, worrying about my youngest daughter and her frame of mind.
This morning's call was reassuring, at least for the time being. Things go up and down with her, and tomorrow may bring another wave of depression and loneliness. But today, she is good, life is good...the world is a great place to be. My energy feels restored and my hope re-ignited. Perhaps things are on a permanent upswing. If not, it is days like these that I fall back on, remembering that all things pass in due time. I have great hopes and dreams for this lovely daughter of mine; I hope that one day they will be realized, along with the hopes and dreams that she holds for herself. Right now, that possibility seems promising.