It all started as I got out of the car in a remote parking lot. My phone rang. The masculine voice greeted me at the other end.
“Turtle had been hit in the head and is currently in a coma.”
It was a shock, that I had never thought would come. My heart shattered. It’s about the same as a few men showing up at your door to inform you your husband has been lost in battle.
“I.. don’t understand. What happened? When can I see him?!”
“You are not his wife. I’m afraid there is nothing you can say or do.”
The phone went silent. The voice hung up. I tried calling Turtle’s parents, but they acted like they didn’t even know me!
So, I sat on the curb, desperately dialing; Trying to get a hold Turtle, my husband, who could be dying. I call his phone, and nothing. All I manage to get is a message
“Hello, this is Turtle….”
And then I wake up. Then come the tears.
Last week, I, Boo, went to the National Cemetery in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. I had some bank business to take care of and decided to stop and pay my respects. It was breath taking, the sheer number of graves, lined up in perfect rows, on perfectly mowed hills. All white, square headstones, all Navy, Marine, Army, Air Force. World war one, World war two. It was like.. walking near history. And it was. I couldn’t help the tears of respect when I saw them all. And conflicting knowledge, that no matter what’s going on in the world, the love of my life could possibly be taken from me, and I would not be able to say goodbye. The devastation of this, was crippling. But, it also made me realize that me and Turtle need to have a conversation, that to some would be morbid, but with the thought of not being able to speak before he passed, I knew it needed to be done.
Because, I don’t know what he wants. Does he want to be buried in a cemetery here in Kansas City? The National one? Does he want to be cremated? A wake? A military funeral or a civilian one? If he was in a coma, did he want me to wait forever, three months or not at all? It clouded my mind and made me dizzy. As a military wife, I’m made to know his SS # by heart, and all his medical history, as well as any other important information that someone could possibly need. I have to have all his paper work in a fireproof lock box and keep every sheet of paper, no matter how miniscule. If that wasn’t enough, now I had to ask him what he wants when he dies? I should have thought of this before, but the cemetery made me know that I need to know it.
The last week of my life has been ups and down, the 4 year anniversary of me and Turtle, the nightmare, the choices. I’m only 20, but feel like I have lived a hundred years. With barely any family to lean on, I confide in you, this blog, to let out what I need to say. And I hope you judge me kindly, because I.. need to talk about these things. And this is the easiest way.
So, thank you. To all of those who read our blog. It means more than you can imagine.