Saturday, August 15, 2009

Things that make you go hmm

Bottom line up front: Fred is fine. Yeah, there was a car bomb down the street from the embassy earlier today, but he was inside at the time and he's fine. I'm fine too, but a little dazed and bewildered.

The attack happened at 8:35 a.m. Kabul time, which is just after midnight here. I remember noticing that it was just about midnight when I turned off the light and went to sleep. I woke up at 6 this morning when Harvey was playing soccer in my bedroom with a chapstick. When I realized it was Saturday and I could go back to sleep, I started to do just that, but then I decided to take a quick look at my email on my cell phone.

I noticed that I had a few new ones, including 2 from my friend Jen. Because of the tiny phone screen, I couldn't see any more than the names of the senders, and, wondering what on earth Jen could have going on that would lead her to email me twice in one night, I clicked on hers first. The subject line was "fred?" and the message began: "Please tell me that you have heard from Fred and that he is okay."

I figured out immediately that something bad had happened, so I grabbed the remote, turned on the TV, and started frantically trying to find the news. Then it dawned on me that I should go back to my email and see if maybe one of those OTHER emails that I hadn't taken a second look at might have possibly been from him.

Instant relief! Indeed there was one, timestamped shortly after 1 a.m. my time with the body blank but the subject line reading "I am fine . . . was inside at time of explosion . . . check CNN." Whew!

So all's well that ends well (for us anyway--I'm afraid there are a fair number of Afghan citizens who weren't so lucky). I feel kind of stunned though. This summer really has felt like Act 2 of the War College. The kids and I were already used to living apart from Fred, having been practicing for over a year now. But somehow even though I knew he was in Afghanistan, it's almost like I didn't really KNOW it. On some level, I thought he was still chilling out in Pennsylvania--playing softball, drinking beer, and putting the "college" in War College. This might be a longer year than I had expected.

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