On Wednesday, January 15th, 2014, we dropped O off at the airport at 3 p.m. for his 4:45 p.m. flight to Chicago where he will connect for that long transatlantic flight to Turkey. The cold weather did not give us much time to say good bye. I hugged him a few times and managed to snap a quick photo just of the two of us. O said I was acting rather strange, as if he is being sent away for good, but still agreed to stand for a selfie with my phone. I told him with the uncertainty of where he lives, I might as well have the last photo of us together.
I know it sounds pessimistic but couldn’t help thinking of the worse case scenarios. Is it bad to have such a glimpse of thought that ran across my mind? I don’t know. I have to stop being pessimistic. It’s not like he is going to the war zone, it’s just a step below that. A few weeks ago there was a surge of attack at the hotel where he had stayed and will stay. His colleagues emailed him with detailed description of the event. Fortunately the security was tight and the insurgents were only able to bomb the gate. Few guards were injured, but no death. I was shaken in disbelief. And yet, I am sending my husband to this place of hell hole. How could I be optimistic? How? I am in such a predicament. But he left, and on his way to the place where security is not stable. I just have to pray; God, Allah, Buddha, and all the omnipresent beings who could be there to protect him in time of need.
Thursday, January 16th, 2014 — O has survived one rough air ride across the Atlantic and is now waiting for the next flight connecting Istanbul and Djibouti. We connected via Facetime for him to see the kids. PP kept asking if his daddy is coming back tomorrow. This morning when Peanut woke up, he kept calling, “aabooo,” and waiting for O to come to pick him up. When Peanut saw O’s face on the iPad, he kept calling “aaboo” again and again. It breaks my heart, and I know so is O’s.
Maybe you might think that I am too dramatic in expressing my emotion this way, but until you walk in my shoes, you might not fathom the depth of fear I have by sending O to this place. We do have a choice, but for now, O chose to follow this path. As a wife, and as selfish as I am, I also chose to let him go for a year. This is a rare opportunity for him to build his career, and you know, a man’s career is one of his utmost pride (along with being a great father as he is!)