Saturday, February 2, 2013 12:25 p.m.
“Will, I just want to let you know I won’t be coming home early like planned. A man with possible spinal injuries needs help in Fon De Blan and I’m going to fly up there.”
I can hear by the pitch of his voice and his breathing that his adrenaline is pumping. Jason enjoys flying but his passion lies in emergency response. Helping people in intense situations is what he loves.
I push the phone a little tighter against my ear as Justin begins to wiggle on my lap.
“Okay, thanks for letting me know and fly safe.”
“Love you bye.”
The phone cuts out and I lay it down.
Closing my eyes I pray a silent prayer of safety and wisdom for him.
I remain that way; eyes closed, until I feel a small hand tugging at my arm.
“Mom, I’m hungry.”
I carefully place Justin on the playroom mat and then head to the kitchen. In the fridge I find some leftover lasagne and quickly heat it up.
Today is Saturday and after a morning of teaching swimming lesson classes I am hungry too.
The afternoon continues as usual with the neighborhood boys joining us at 1:00 p.m. for a meal and bible story.
After they leave time ticks slowly on. Justin naps while Jayden and I read stories and play together. When 3:30 comes and goes and no Jason comes home, Jayden starts to ask questions.
“Mom, where is Daddy?”
“He’s helping a man who fell and is really hurt.”
“When is he coming home?”
“I don’t know. Daddy said it might take awhile.”
“What are you called if you don’t have a husband?”
“Like if your husband dies?”
“What about the kids?”
“Well, they are called orphans.”
“Oh.” Deep in thought he stares off into space. I wrap my arms around him and pull him close. Hours later when there’s still no sign of Jason I pick up my cell phone and call him. After several rings he answers.
“I’m not going to be home till late Will. I landed at the airstrip with a paramedic and then took an ambulance/land cruiser, over rough roads to the accident site. We’ve just finished securing the patient onto a spine board and now I’m busy arranging a medivac airplane to land at the Port au Prince International Airport to pick up our patient after I land there with him. He very likely has spinal injuries and the sooner he can get to the United States the better. I will try to keep you updated.”
I hang up and look at the clock. It’s nearing 5:00 p.m. now and the sun is about to set. Flying in the dark is not normally done and once again I pray for safety for my husband.
To keep my mind occupied I pull out the ingredients for pizza dough and together with Jayden start to mix, knead and roll.
“Is Dad going to eat with us?”
“No. He won’t be home till really late.”
“Oh.” Disappointed, Jayden’s face drops.
“Why don’t you help me put the toppings on the pizza?”
His face brightens again. I hand him the pineapple, ham and mozzarella cheese and he quickly gets to work decorating the pizza.
After dinner and a bath I put the boys in bed. Justin, missing his special playtime with Dad, refuses to sleep. After a few failed attempts of trying to get him settled I take him out of bed; no use in him keeping Jayden awake.
Time ticks on. I cuddle with Justin on the playroom couch as we wait together for the familiar honk. We wait and wait but there’s no honk to be heard. Finally the cell phone rings again.
“Hi Will, It will probably be midnight before I get home. An airplane will be coming, but I need to stay to organize all the logistics.”
“Okay, I’m glad you are safe on the ground again.” We chat a few more minutes before hanging up.
20 hours on the job is a long day for him.
I turn to my baby. “Well, you’re just going to have to go to sleep without seeing your Daddy,” I whisper in his ear. He looks at me with sleepy eyes and I gently carry him to his crib. Kissing him softly I lay him down and arrange his favourite soft blanket around him. Closing his eyes he drifts off to sleep.
I turn to look at my other son, fast asleep in his bed, his soft blanket tucked against his cheek as well. I lean down to kiss him and readjust his sheets.
Feeling tired now too, I decide to get ready for bed too.
Before I fall asleep, I pray that my husband may come home safely and soon. I also thank God for providing safety in flight, and for thus far sparing the patient’s life.
Hours later I wake up to find Jason hovering over me.
“Are you awake Will?” He whispers.
“Okay, we will talk in the morning.”
Closing my eyes I drift back to sleep. Tomorrow. God willing, I will hear all about his day.